Over the last few decades, the average age of mums has gradually increased to just over 30. Additionally, many women are now choosing to have a baby in their late thirties.Although relatively few women so far have given birth to a baby using frozen eggs, more and more women in the UK are making the decision to preserve their fertility in this way so that they have the option of becoming a mother later on in life.
Why should I freeze my eggs?
Studies that take up all your time, not having found the right partner yet, not being financially stable enough or having a very time-consuming career. All of these are reasons that might lead to a woman choosing to postpone her pregnancy until later.However, as female fertility drops after 35, getting pregnant in your late thirties or in your forties can become more difficult, or even a little risky. Freezing your eggs allows you to have a baby in the future when you will be more ready, whether this is because you have finally met the right partner or find yourself in a more financially stable situation.
This procedure is called social egg freezing, in order to distinguish it from women freezing their eggs for medical reasons, for instance, because they have a condition that could affect their fertility.
As frozen eggs don’t age, the sooner you freeze them, the better the outcome is likely to be. It’s recommended that you undergo this process before you turn 35, to ensure that you have good quality eggs which will optimise your chances of conceiving.
How does egg freezing work in the UK?
The process of freezing eggs usually takes two weeks and is similar to IVF:
1. Ovarian stimulation. Before collecting your eggs, you’ll undergo a daily injection of fertility drugs in order to boost the production of follicles (which contain eggs). This hormone treatment must be taken at the beginning of your periods and for around 10 days.
2. Monitoring the development. To check the growth of the eggs, the patient will have to undergo 3 to 4 ultrasound scans and blood tests.
3. Egg collection. Once the eggs are mature enough, they can be collected by a doctor. This process lasts for about 15-20 minutes and patients are usually anaethetised to make the procedure more comfortable. You are then advised to rest at home.
4. Egg freezing. Your eggs are frozen via a method called “vitrification”, which is essentially fast freezing and storage in liquid nitrogen.
5. Future use. At the point where you decide its finally time to have a baby, your eggs will be thawed and fertilised in a laboratory (just as with in vitro fertilisation) using a donor’s sperm or that of your partner. Then, the resulting embryos will be transferred into your womb.
Who can freeze their eggs?
You may consider freezing and storing your eggs if:
• You are undergoing medical treatment (for instance, chemotherapy), or you have a condition (for instance, severe endometriosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) that could affect your fertility;
• You want to have a baby later in life without worrying about the quality of your eggs’ decreasing as you age;
• You are going to undergo sex change surgery.
How much does it cost to freeze your eggs?
In the UK, egg freezing costs on average between £3,500 and £4,500 for one cycle of treatment. In addition to this price, you’ll have to pay an annual fee to keep your eggs stored (from £200 to £360). UK law allows you to store your eggs for up to 10 years. In certain cases, because of premature infertility, for instance, you may be able to store your eggs for a longer period.
Other expenses to consider are transport and any accommodation that you may need during the procedure. When you decide it’s time to become a mother, you’ll have to consider the costs related to egg thawing, fertilisation and transfer.
Bath Fertility Centre
Price for egg freezing: £2,400 (includes ultrasound scans, sedation fee, egg collection, freezing by vitrification, one year’s storage, full blood screening, HFEA licence fee, up to 3 free counseling sessions). The cost of drugs: between £800 – £1,700. Annual egg storage fee after the first year: £230.
Address: Roman Way
Bath Business Park
Peasedown St John
Bath, BA2 8SG
Cheshire Fertility Centre
Price for egg freezing: unknown.
Address: Macclesfield Health Hub
Cheshire SK11 6JL
Tel: 0162 526 4110
Price for egg freezing: £2800.
Address: Manchester Fertility
Amelia House, 3 Oakwood Square
Cheadle Royal Business Park
Cheshire SK8 3FS
Tel: 0161 300 2730
The London Women’s Clinic
Price for egg freezing: unknown.
Address in London: 113-115 Harley St
London W1G 6AP
Tel: 0207 563 4309
Other clinics are located in Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea, Cambridge, Stevenage, Essex, Luton, and Kent.
London Egg Bank
Price for egg freezing: £3,300 (includes monitoring scans, consultation, counselling, egg collection, egg freezing, two year’s storage). This price excludes drugs, sedation fee, cycle monitoring blood tests, screening tests, and storage fee for additional years.
Address: 112 Harley St
London W1G 6AP
Tel: 0207 299 9546
Price for egg freezing: £2,985–£3,605 for one cycle (price varies by clinic). EGGsafe (eggfreezing package aiming to collect up to 20 eggs from multiple cycles): between £4,950–£5,500. Price excludes medication costs.
Address in London: Park Lorne
111 Park Rd
London NW8 7JL
Tel: 0207 616 6767
Other CARE clinics are located in Bolton, Manchester, Birmingham, Northampton, Sheffield, Nottingham, Boston, Derby, Leicester, Peterborough, Milton Keynes, Tunbridge Wells, Mansfield, Sittingbourne.
Price for egg freezing: £3,400 for two years’ storage. Egg freezing treatment cycle for 10 years’ storage: £4,600. HFEA fee: £80. Annual storage fee: £300.
Address: Concept Fertility Clinic,
14 Point Pleasant,
London SW18 1GG
Tel: 020 3388 3000
The Bridge Centre
Price for egg freezing: From £3,300. Egg freezing three cycle package: £8,000.
Address: 1 St Thomas Street
London SE1 9RY
Tel: 0203 819 3282
Harley Street Fertility Clinic
Price for egg freezing: From £3,300 (includes consultation and counselling, monitoring scans,blood tests, egg collection, sedation fee, vitrification). Annual storage fee: £300.
Address: 134 Harley St
London W1G 7JY
Tel: 0207 436 6838
ARGC – The IVF Clinic London
Price for egg freezing: £2,800 including ultrasound scans and sedation fee. The cost ofmedication and blood tests are not included. Annual storage fee: £300.br
Address: 13 Upper Wimpole Street
London, W1G 6LP
Tel: 0207 486 1230
Lister Fertility Clinic
Price for egg freezing: a cycle costs £3,550 (including monitoring scans, consultations,hospital admission, egg collection, freezing of the eggs and storage for 1 year). 3-cyclepackage: £8,900. The cost of the drugs for each cycle: between £800-1,200.
Address: The Lister Hospital
Chelsea Bridge Road
London, SW1W 8RH
Tel: 0207 730 5932
Price for egg freezing: £2,850 (includes monitoring scans, consultation, egg collection, eggfreezing by vitrification). Excludes sedation fees (£250), blood tests and medication. Annualstorage fee: £360.
Address: 150 Cheapside
London, EC2V 6ET
Tel: 0333 920 3438
Boston Place Clinic
Price for egg freezing: £3,700 a cycle (includes consultation, blood tests, ultrasound scans, egg collection, sedation fees; egg freezing; HFEA licence fee). Excludes drug costs. Annual storage fee: £350.
Address: 20 Boston Pl
London NW1 6ER
Tel: 0207 993 0870
Complete Fertility Centre Southampton
Price for egg freezing: £3,550 (includes: screening tests, consultations, ultrasound scans, counselling, egg collection, one year’s storage). Stimulation drugs: between £600-£1200. Egg storage per additional year: £265.
Address: Complete Fertility Centre Southampton
Princess Anne Hospital
Mailpoint 105, Level G
Southampton SO16 5YA
Tel: 023 8120 6980
IVI Midland Fertility
Price for egg freezing: £2,995 (includes egg collection and vitrification). Annual storage fee: £200.
Address: Tamworth House,
Ventura Park Road,
Tamworth, B78 3HL
Tel: 01827 311170
Aberdeen Fertility Centre
Price for egg freezing: £2,500 for egg collection treatment. Medication: between £400 – £900. Freezing of eggs: £600 (up to 5 years).
Address: Aberdeen Maternity Hospital
Aberdeen, AB25 2ZL
Tel: 0122 455 3101
Glasgow Centre For Reproductive Medicine
Price for egg freezing: £2875 for egg collection, vitrification and one year’s storage (excludes medication price). Additional annual storage after first year: £250.
Address: 21 Fifty Pitches Way
Glasgow G51 4FD
Tel: 0141 891 8749
Centre for Reproduction & Gynaecology Wales
Price for egg freezing: Up to €2965.
Address: Ely Meadows
Llantrisant CF72 8XL
Tel: 0144 344 30999