How does egg freezing work?
The process of egg freezing is much the same as a regular IVF treatment, except that instead of fertilising the eggs when they are extracted, the eggs are frozen and put into storage for future use.
As with IVF treatment, a woman choosing to freeze her eggs will usually begin by taking drugs to stimulate her ovaries to produce more eggs. This is because the more eggs that are frozen, the better your chances of one getting fertilised when you do decide to go ahead with IVF treatment.
Once the ovarian stimulation drugs have taken effect, your cycle will be closely monitored, using ultrasound scans so that we can assess when the eggs reach optimum maturity. At this point, the eggs are collected in clinic, using the same process as for conventional IVF. This will take approximately half an hour and is generally performed under sedation.
After the eggs have been extracted, they are frozen very quickly in a process known ‘vitrification’. This method is used at Orchid as it shows significantly higher success rates in comparison to the older method that some clinics are still using and is called “slow freezing”. The eggs will then be stored in tanks of liquid nitrogen, for up to 5 years, until such a time as they are required.