Women who are at risk of losing the opportunity to conceive with their own eggs such as women with low ovarian reserve, imminent premature menopause or cancer treatment may wish to preserve their fertility by harvesting their eggs or creating embryos with their partner to freeze and store for future use.
We currently offer egg freezing with vitrification, which is a state-of-the-art freezing technique that minimises damage to eggs, giving the best opportunity for future pregnancy.
If egg freezing is medically indicated (for example imminent premature menopause, cancer treatment), patients may be entitled to a Medicare rebate which results in a cost very similar to a regular IVF cycle.
Fertility SA’s doctors will give unbiased advice about the benefits and risks of egg freezing based on each person’s individual circumstances.
In general there are two options for preserving fertility in women:
Oocyte freezing – this is where the oocytes or ‘eggs’ are collected and frozen for later use. This involves undergoing a series of injections where the ovaries are ‘stimulated’ to produce an increased number of eggs. These eggs are then collected via a surgical procedure. At a later date the eggs are thawed and fertilised via IVF techniques with a future partner’s sperm. The chance of pregnancy is approximately 5% per egg and if 20 eggs are stored, there is a 20% chance of pregnancy, depending on the age of the woman.
Embryo freezing – if a woman is in a situation where she has a partner, the couple may consider creating embryos and freezing them for future use. Eggs are collected in an IVF cycle. After the partner’s sperm has fertilised the eggs, the resulting embryos are then frozen so they can be thawed and transferred to the uterus at a later date. The pregnancy rates are higher for frozen embryos than frozen oocytes and depend on the age of the woman at time of oocyte retrieval (current pregnancy rate over 30% for all age groups).