The days of the “biological clock” are changing. In years gone by, women were bound to the limitations of time when it came to their reproductive choices and those who wanted to fall pregnant later in life were faced with egg quality issues. Now they have the option of extending their fertility time by preserving their eggs.

Fertility peaks during a woman’s mid 20’s and begins to decline around the age of 30. By her mid 30’s and early 40’s, a woman’s chances of getting pregnant using her own eggs dramatically decreases. This way, when a woman freezes her eggs say around the age of 31, she can be assured that the eggs she is storing are the most viable eggs she will ever have.

What method of freezing is used?

Vitrification or rapid freezing is mostly used today and is the most effective technique for freezing human eggs, allowing them to be stored long term. This rapid freezing bolsters high egg survival and therefore ensures higher pregnancy rates. This procedure is carried out at the Cape Fertility Clinic in Cape Town by an embryologist. The eggs are stored in their laboratory in a liquid nitrogen container at a temperature of -196 degrees celcius.

Who benefits from egg freezing?

This could be used for a younger woman who wants to preserve her fertility and store eggs while she is still young.

It could also include woman undergoing cancer treatments such as radiation, chemotherapy or surgery that could limit future reproductive potential.

Is egg freezing safe?

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) states that there is no increase in chromosomal abnormalities, birth defects or developmental problems occurring in children born from frozen eggs.

If you are interested, we would advise that you discuss the details of this option with your fertility specialist