What is egg freezing?

We understand that you may need to make an important decision about preserving your fertility.

Uncertainty about your future fertility can be daunting, even for those who haven’t thought about starting a family. You have choices to preserve your fertility, so you can start or grow your family in the future.

Egg freezing is a method of storing your eggs to preserve fertility and allow you to have a baby later. It’s an option usually considered by women not in a position to have a baby, or whose fertility is at risk for medical reasons.

Meet Emily

How did you come to the decision to freeze your eggs?

The final decision was a couple of years in the making, but the process started when I visited my GP when I was 29. She discussed pregnancy and age with me and suggested I have my AMH (Antimullerian Hormone) tested. The AMH test is a blood test that is said to be a good indicator of how many viable eggs a woman has.

Should I freeze my eggs?

Social Reasons for Freezing Eggs

Even if you want children, it may not be possible for financial, career, relationship reasons or simply worried about your fertility.

Fertility declines with age, so it can be difficult for some women to get pregnant later in life. Egg freezing gives you a choice; you can preserve your fertility to start a family later.

Medical Reasons for Freezing Eggs

We understand that you may need to make an important decision about preserving your fertility due to medical issues.

Uncertainty about your future fertility can be daunting, even for those who haven’t thought about starting a family. You have choices to preserve your fertility, so you can start or grow your family in the future.

Age 25 - 32

At younger ages, we can assist in a simple egg timer test. This will empower you and give you information on how many eggs you have.

Age 30 - 35

If you are thinking of delaying having children for any reason, we recommend you freeze eggs for peace of mind.

Age 45+

At 45 and older, you still have options. We can assist finding a donor egg or access to The World Egg Bank (TWEB) to help you bring life to the world.

Has the decision impacted your relationship at all?

It’s great; less pressure! I’m not so concerned all the time that my biological clock is ticking and am really enjoying my life and our relationship as we grow as a couple. Who knows what the future holds? Circumstances can change so quickly in life. This way I have comfort in knowing I’ve safeguarded my future – my eggs will be 32yrs old forever!

“Choosing to freeze your eggs doesn’t mean you’re robbing yourself of viable eggs from your egg supply (ovarian reserve). Some women who freeze their eggs don’t use them because they later fall pregnant naturally. “
- Dr Prue Johnstone, Geelong Clinic Medical Director

The Egg Freezing Process

To do this, you’ll undertake a series of hormone medications to help stimulate your ovaries for around 10-12 days. Your fertility specialist will discuss the best medications and stimulation techniques for you.

Generally, stimulation is by giving yourself hormone injections using a tiny needle under the skin. Don’t worry, it’s not scary, and your fertility nurse will help you through the process. During the stimulation period, you’ll be monitored via blood tests and ultrasounds.

MONASH IVF Smart Science

The eggs stimulated to grow would have grown or died during your natural cycle that month. The stimulation mimics your body’s natural processes. It doesn’t affect future egg supply or lead to premature menopause.

Did you find the egg collection process / procedure difficult?

No, not at all. I guess once I’d made the decision to proceed, I was really process driven. It was a rational, conscious and preventative decision for me, so it actually gave me a sense of relief to start the process. Although, in saying that, the first injection was soo scary! I’m not great with needles… but it honestly was nothing and it was fine after that.

When your eggs are ready to be collected, you’ll visit the hospital for a short procedure. You’ll be asleep, so you won’t feel a thing. The procedure itself takes around 10-15 minutes and you can usually go home in 1-2 hours.

Your fertility specialist will extract the fluid from the follicles on your ovaries, which contains your eggs. The eggs are extracted vaginally by your fertility specialist, so there’s no cuts or scars.

As with any procedure under anaesthetic, you might feel tired or groggy. Bring a support person as you won’t be able to drive.

Did you find the egg collection process / procedure difficult?

No, not at all. I guess once I’d made the decision to proceed, I was really process driven. It was a rational, conscious and preventative decision for me, so it actually gave me a sense of relief to start the process. Although, in saying that, the first injection was soo scary! I’m not great with needles… but it honestly was nothing and it was fine after that.

Once your eggs have been collected, your fertility specialist passes them directly to our scientists. These skilled scientists identify the mature eggs to be frozen; only mature eggs are frozen as immature eggs don’t create a viable pregnancy. The scientists remove the eggs from the fluid and delicately remove their outer shell.

The eggs are then frozen in the lab using a method called vitrification, or snap freezing. The fluid is removed from the eggs to prevent damage when they are frozen.

Scientifically, there’s no time limit on how long eggs can stay frozen.

Did you find the egg collection process / procedure difficult?

No, not at all. I guess once I’d made the decision to proceed, I was really process driven. It was a rational, conscious and preventative decision for me, so it actually gave me a sense of relief to start the process. Although, in saying that, the first injection was soo scary! I’m not great with needles… but it honestly was nothing and it was fine after that.

Egg Freezing Success Rates

A frozen egg does not always result in a pregnancy. The two main factors affecting your chances of success are the age of the eggs, (the age you are when you freeze your eggs), and how many eggs are frozen.

At 30, approximately 10 eggs are required to achieve one pregnancy. At 40, around 20 eggs are required.

If you cannot use your eggs for some reason, we can also assist finding a donor egg or access to The World Egg Bank (TWEB) to help you bring life to the world.

Age 25 - 32

At younger ages, we can assist in a simple egg timer test. This will empower you and give you information on how many eggs you have.

Age 30 - 35

If you are thinking of delaying having children for any reason, we recommend you freeze eggs for peace of mind.

Age 45+

At 45 and older, you still have options. We can assist finding a donor egg or access to The World Egg Bank (TWEB) to help you bring life to the world.

The Cost of Egg Freezing

Victoria

Egg freezing costs approximately $4,830.

There are added costs for medication and hospital (approximately $3000-4000) fees; you may be able to claim these through health insurance.

In Australia, Medicare provides a rebate for fertility treatments if there is a medical need for the treatment. If you’re choosing to freeze your eggs for non-medical reasons, you won’t receive Medicare assistance.

How did you approach the costs involved?

How can you put a value on the chance to have a biological child? This is what I kept telling myself. It can be expensive, but it was also really important to me. It may be expensive for me now in my current life-stage, but I hope looking back when I’m 60 it will seem like small change! I rationalised it by saying that people borrow a little ‘extra’ on their home loans for whatever reasons all the time.

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We help you along your journey

1 Initial Nurse Chat

Have a chat with our specialist nurse team and book in a consultation with your fertility specialist.

Book your FREE IVF Nurse Chat

2 Specialist Consultation

Your Monash IVF Specialist will carry out some preliminary investigations and give you an overview of possible treatments.

3 Pre Treatment

Your Monash IVF Specialist will recommend lifestyle changes and assess which treatment is best for you.

4 Treatment

There are many treatment options available and your Monash IVF Specialist will direct you to the appropriate treatment to help you achieve your pregnancy.