Egg freezing is a method of storing a woman’s unfertilised eggs to allow her to try to conceive at a later date, when natural conception would be unlikely. It may be seen as a way of preserving the possibility of fertility for women who are not in a position to becoming pregnant straight away, or whose fertility is at risk for medical reasons such as cancer treatment.
Frozen eggs may be stored for many years without significant deterioration. When the woman is ready to use her eggs, they are warmed and then fertilised with sperm. The aim is for the fertilised egg to develop into an embryo, which can then be transferred to the woman’s uterus giving a chance of pregnancy.
Patients undertake an IVF treatment cycle where the ovaries are artificially stimulated with a course of injections to produce oocytes (eggs). These eggs are then removed in a minor surgical procedure and frozen for storage.
When you are ready to use your frozen eggs, they are thawed and then fertilised with sperm, either from your partner or a donor. A healthy fertilised egg will develop into an embryo, which is then transferred to your uterus and you may become pregnant.