Freezing Eggs for Couples

freezing-eggs-ethical

Midland Fertility has devised assisted conception services that accommodate many faiths and beliefs.  As part of this, the unit is able to use its clinical and scientific experience of successful egg freezing to provide some patients who require IVF or ICSI treatment with an alternative to embryo freezing.

In addition to providing fertility preservation services for cancer patients and elective egg freezers, egg freezing may also be offered to women or couples undergoing IVF or ICSI treatment who have ethical or religious concerns about the creation and subsequent freezing of embryos as part of their treatment.  If so, Midland Fertility can freeze any suitable eggs that have been retrieved but are not required for fertilisation in the current treatment cycle and store them to be possibly thawed and fertilised in future treatments.

This option can ensure that a patient’s ethical or religious concerns are met, but it may also lead to a reduction in the chance of pregnancy per attempt, because the embryologist will not have the choice of embryos to select for transfer and not all embryos continue to develop to the best quality.

Midland Fertility can guarantee that eggs, sperm and embryos will always be used in ways, to which a patient has explicitly consented.

Who may benefit from IVF or ICSI with egg freezing treatment?

  • patients who require IVF or ICSI treatment to conceive and who have religious concerns about the creation, freezing and storage of embryos
  • patients who require IVF or ICSI treatment to conceive and who have ethical concerns about the creation, freezing and storage of embryos

For whom is IVF or ICSI with egg freezing treatment not suitable?

  • Midland Fertility clinical and scientific staff will advise any patients interested in an alternative to embryo freezing if the woman’s eggs are not suitable for egg freezing

What does IVF or ICSI with egg freezing treatment involve?

A patient’s treatment follows the usual protocol for either IVF or ICSI treatment up to an including egg collection.

Following the egg collection procedure:

  • the collected eggs are washed and placed in labelled dishes before being put into an incubator where the environment mimics the inside of the body
  • the sperm and some of the eggs and are prepared for insemination using either IVF or ICSI techniques to create only enough embryos which will be suitable for a fresh embryo transfer
  • the remaining eggs are stripped of the protective ‘cloud’ of cells to ensure they are mature and suitable for freezing. All good quality mature eggs are then frozen using either the slow-freeze or vitrification processes, or a combination of both, as advised by the laboratory team:
  • using the slow-freeze method: the embryologist puts the eggs through a series of solutions to remove and replace their water content with a cryoprotectant to help preserve the delicate cell structures and avoid crystallisation during the freezing and thawing processes. They are then loaded into labelled glass straws and put into liquid nitrogen where they will remain at ‒196°C for possible future use
  • using vitrification: the embryologist places the egg on a film-like ‘leaf’ within a tiny droplet of cryoprotectant in less than 60 seconds. This is then inserted into liquid nitrogen which rapidly cools the eggs at a rate of ‒20,000°C per minute. The flash-freezing technique changes the liquid cryoprotectant to a glass-like solid in which the egg is preserved and then immediately stored in liquid nitrogen at ‒196°C for possible future use
  • the eggs are stored until the patient wishes to try to conceive with them. Currently eggs may be stored for up to 10 years, although this may be extended in exceptional circumstances

When the patient wishes to continue treatment with the frozen eggs, Midland Fertility can thaw and fertilise them using the ICSI injection procedure with partner or donor sperm, and transfer any resulting embryos to the woman’s uterus.  This stage of treatment is not included in the original treatment cost.

What is included in the IVF or ICSI with egg freezing treatment cost?

  • treatment planning
  • ultrasound monitoring scans
  • teaching how to give injections
  • egg collection
  • sperm preparation
  • IVF or ICSI insemination of eggs
  • embryo transfer
  • egg freezing and storage for first year (if suitable)
  • pregnancy test
  • six week scan and/or follow-up to review the treatment cycle

What is not included in the IVF or ICSI with egg freezing treatment cost?

  • initial consultation or follow-up consultation (as appropriate)
  • treatment assessment or repeat screening (as appropriate)
  • cost of fertility drugs
  • fee for freezing sperm (if required)
  • fee for donor sperm (if required)
  • the HFEA levy for the creation in vitro, or transfer of, embryos

How long does IVF or ICSI with egg freezing treatment take?

An average of five to eight weeks from the beginning of the treatment cycle to pregnancy test, depending on the drug protocol.

Costs

Cost of IVF at Midland Fertility: £2,995.00

Cost of ICSI at Midland Fertility: £3,595.00

Cost of egg thaw, ICSI insemination and embryo transfer: £1,895.00

Cost of storage of eggs, (1 year) at Midland Fertility: £200.00

Cost of storage of eggs (3 years) at Midland Fertility: £500.00

Cost of storage of eggs (5 year) at Midland Fertility: £750.00

Go to the Midland Fertility Cost Estimator©

More information

Also, go to the Midland Fertility Patient Treatment Information page and download the following infosheets:

  • Egg Freezing (Stimulation, Collection and Freezing)
  • ICSI
  • IVF
  • Embryo Transfer Policy and eSET

LU: 18/8/14/JAA