News

08-06-2016

The first pregnancy originating from a frozen-thawed and fertilized human oocyte was reported in 1986, with the first live birth being reported in 1987. The first results were variable and disappointing with only 5 children born from 1987-1995 in Australia. Research in Melbourne in the 1990's improved the techniques used and modified protocols were developed that improved survival and fertilization rates, as a result over 900 babies have been born as a result of cryopreserved eggs in Australia.

A woman's chance of conceiving naturally reduces with age as the quantity and quality of eggs reduce. Egg freezing is a relatively new technique. Very few babies have been born after treatment using a woman's own frozen eggs ( although more have been born using donor eggs) Vitrification ( a new method of egg storage) has been shown to improve the chance of eggs surviving the freeze-thaw process and improve the success rates.

To help boost egg production, fertility drugs are used to stimulate the ovaries to produce follicles ( contain eggs). the developing follicles are monitored and when large enough are carefully emptied to collect the eggs when the woman is under anaesthetic

The techniques of egg vitrification is now a definite possibility, but success depends on the age at which a woman has her eggs " harvested" and any medical conditions which may affect her fertility. The success rate in women under 35 years varies with the company. The statistics seem like a long time ago when assessing rates, but it is necessary to wait nine months from a treatment to know the outcome and the data also needs to be verified and published. Clinic practices change over time and success rates relating to a period of treatment several years ago may not be a good indication of success rates today.

Current success rates for egg freezing are estimated by IVF Australia as :

  • For a woman 35 yrs or under, one stimulated cycle would result in the harvest of 10-12 eggs of which 7-9 would be suitable for vitrification and storage
  • Approximately 80-90% of eggs survive warming in the future
  • Approximately 50-80% of surviving eggs would fertilise
  • Approximately 80-90% of fertilised eggs would develop into embryos
  • A single embryo would have a 20-35% chance of developing into an embryo

Success rates are lower for women over 35 years of age and egg freezing in women over 38 is unlikely to lead to a pregnancy.

There is no medicare rebate unless the procedure is done to avoid infertility from cancer treatment, The cost is approximately $1000 for hormonal preparation and egg harvesting ( as a day stay procedure) $10000 for egg vitrification and ongoing storage costs of % 5000 a year to keep the vitrified oocyte.

( http://www.ivf.comau/fertility-treatment/fertility-preservation/female-fertility-preservation

The website "eggsurance.com" is an American based site for women considering the egg freezing option, the general information is accurate, useful and valid, but the medical system in the USA makes much of the advice unhelpful to those using the Australian system

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority ( hfea.gov.uk) is the UK's independent regulator overseeing fertility treatments and research and provides excellent information about techniques and general information, but again the system in Australia is different and there is no Regulatory Authority or provision to find the results of the different Clinics operating within Australia . Each Clinic knows its own results, but there is no  published data to compare or to find the results of each Clinic independently

 

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