Egg Freezing

Egg freezing is a great way to preserve your future fertility. Ultimately, the younger you freeze your eggs - the better.

If you’re not ready for kids just yet, you can use your eggs later on when you’re ready to have children.

Our in-depth guide to egg freezing will give you a sense of what to expect. Read on for more information.

In 1983, Monash IVF achieved the world’s first birth from a frozen and thawed embryo. Since then, there’s been significant advances in the cryopreservation techniques of eggs - meaning your chances of taking a baby home are better than ever.
Egg Freezing
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Meet Emily. She shared her egg freezing journey with us.

Have you always known you wanted to have children one day?

Always. I knew when I was in high school that I wanted to be a mum and have a family of my own, but I knew deep down I’d be an older mum. I was driven in high school and really focussed on my education. I wanted to go to uni and also travel the world - at the time, those were my priorities. I also grew up understanding that fertility isn’t something you should take for granted. I knew from early on that age, health and lifestyle are important factors when starting a family.

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Meet Emily. She shared her egg freezing journey with us.

How did you approach the costs involved with freezing 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 (Anti Mullerian Hormone) tested. The AMH test is a blood test that gives a good indication of how many viable eggs a woman has left.

When my test came back, it started the process of really assessing where I was in my life. I’d been to uni and got my qualifications, I had a great job in my chosen profession, I’d even managed to travel… but I’d only just started a new relationship and it was way too soon to start talking babies! And frankly, I just wasn’t ready yet. But I knew I did want kids of my own one day.

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Meet Emily. She shared her egg freezing journey with us.

What was your life situation when you made the decision?

When I was 32, my relationship was still going strong and we were talking about starting a family. But due to some other circumstances at the time, we decided to wait another year before trying. I was worried about my age, though, and what might present in the coming year with my partner. So I decided to go back to my GP and get my AMH re-tested. Thankfully, the result was the same as the original test. After discussing the results at length with my doctor, I just felt it was time to freeze my eggs. I’ve never looked back.

How can you put a value on the chance to have a biological child? This is what I kept telling myself. It may be expensive for me now in my current life stage, but it was also really important to me. 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 different reasons all the time.

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Meet Emily. She shared her egg freezing journey with us.

Did you find the egg collection process or 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 get started. Although, in saying that, the first injection was soo scary! I’m not great with needles… but honestly it was nothing and I was fine after that. I became an expert in no time.

Why freeze my eggs?

There are many reasons to freeze your eggs.

Many women will experience the desire to have children at some point in their life. For some, this may come at a time where it’s just not possible to fulfil that wish - whether that’s because of career, financial or relationship status, or a combination of both.

Unfortunately, a woman’s fertility declines with age. This means that as you age, your chance of conceiving naturally (without intervention) inevitably reduces.

The truth is, uncertainty about your future fertility can be daunting - even if you haven’t given much thought to whether or not you want a family someday.

The good news? Technological advances in recent years make egg freezing a viable option for women who wish to preserve their fertility.

Preserving your fertility gives you a greater chance of having a child or children later in life.

Egg freezing is a method of storing your eggs, allowing you to use them later in life to try and have a baby. It’s a great option for women who aren’t in a position to try for a baby now, or whose fertility is at risk for medical reasons.

Common egg freezing questions

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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 never use them because they later fall pregnant naturally. Either way, it’s a win-win.

Age, fertility and egg freezing

Did you know the age of your eggs when frozen is the same as your natural conception percentage? For example: if you freeze your eggs at 30 and decide to use them at 35, you have the same chance as a 30-year-old to achieve a pregnancy.

How much will it cost to freeze my eggs?

Costs may vary depending on your individual circumstances. We suggest you book a consult with a fertility specialist to discuss whether egg freezing is a suitable treatment option for you.

In Australia, Medicare provides a rebate for fertility treatments if there is a medical need for the treatment. So if you’re freezing your eggs for medical reasons, you’ll receive a rebate from Medicare that will reduce the out-of-pocket cost.

If you’re choosing to freeze your eggs for non-medical reasons, unfortunately you won’t be eligible to receive Medicare assistance for your egg freezing treatment cycle.

Rather have a chat first to talk through finances? Book a chat with our team of experienced fertility nurses here to discuss the costs involved with freezing your eggs.

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The egg freezing process

Step 1: Stimulation

During every monthly cycle, eggs grow in fluid-filled sacs (called follicles) on the ovaries. Only one egg will mature and be released through ovulation. The rest will be naturally reabsorbed. The egg freezing process - as with an IVF cycle - helps more eggs to mature.

To do this, you’ll take hormone medication for eight to 14 days to help stimulate your ovaries. Your fertility specialist will discuss the best medications and stimulation techniques for you. This medication usually takes the form of hormone injections using a tiny needle under the skin.

The idea of injecting yourself can feel daunting at first - we completely understand this. That’s why your fertility nurse will take you through the process step-by-step, showing you exactly how and where to give the injections. During the stimulation period, you’ll be monitored via blood tests and ultrasounds.


The egg freezing process

Step 2: Egg collection

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 only takes around 10-15 minutes. Afterwards, you’ll wake up in recovery, where we’ll keep you warm and comfortable. You can usually go home an hour or two later.

During the procedure, your fertility specialist extracts the fluid from the follicles on your ovaries (where the eggs grow). The eggs are extracted vaginally, so there are no cuts or scars.

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

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The egg freezing process

Step 3: Egg freezing

Once your eggs have been collected, your fertility specialist and theatre team passes them directly to our scientists. These skilled scientists recover the eggs and identify the mature eggs to be frozen. We only freeze mature eggs - immature eggs are not viable or ready to create embryos.

Your eggs are frozen in the lab using a method called vitrification, or snap freezing. We decrease the water content in the eggs to prevent damage to them when they’re frozen.

Scientifically, there’s no time limit on how long eggs can stay frozen. But the time can vary depending on each state’s legislation which may impose statutory storage limits. The great news is our team can help you with determining your state’s time limit for storage and can help with extensions of storage if needed. Rest assured we are here for you long term.

The eggs we stimulate with medication would have grown or died during your natural cycle that month. The stimulation mimics your body’s natural processes. It’s completely safe and doesn’t affect future egg supply or lead to premature menopause.
How to Get Started

How to get started

Chat to a nurse

When it’s convenient, one of our experienced nurses will contact you to discuss egg freezing. Or you can book a nurse chat. You can expect to talk about your personal circumstances, the process involved in freezing your eggs, and what it’s likely to cost. You’ll also chat about next steps.

Book a free nurse chat
See a fertility specialist

When you see a fertility specialist, they’ll undertake some initial testing to determine whether egg freezing is the best option for you. Once you’ve made an informed decision, they will tailor a treatment plan to your individual needs.

Freeze your eggs

After you've completed some paperwork and met with the team, you're ready to get started!

Your fertility specialist will prescribe some stimulation medication, which you’ll take in the lead-up to your procedure. The egg retrieval itself is a short day procedure. It only takes 10-15 minutes and you'll be completely asleep.

Once your eggs are collected, the scientists in the lab assess each one for quality. They only freeze mature eggs. Mature eggs give you the very best chance of a successful pregnancy down the track.

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Start your fertility journey

Wherever you are on your journey, one of our supportive nurses can help you understand your options and take the next step. These conversations are free and informative.

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