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How Early Should You Freeze Your Eggs?

How Early Should You Freeze Your Eggs?

Lots of our readers have questions about egg freezing, particularly regarding the best time to do it. So we sat down with leading fertility expert Mr Rehan Salim, Consultant at the Wolfson Fertility Centre at Hammersmith Hospital, to get some clarity.

Women are born with all their eggs so the egg supply is finite and cannot be replenished. We believe that the best eggs are released early in reproductive life so the best time to freeze your eggs is in your prime reproductive years. In your 20s, your eggs are at their peak in terms of quality and quantity. Fertility declines throughout a woman’s thirties, with the risk of infertility increasing with age.

There are many reasons you might choose to freeze your eggs. Sometimes when women are at peak fertility, starting a family simply isn’t feasible for various reasons. Medical interventions like chemotherapy for cancer could compromise fertility, they may not have found the right partner yet, or be ready for a baby. These are all completely legitimate concerns and egg freezing can offer a very practical solution.

Fertility technology is ever more sophisticated and egg-freezing methods have consistently improved. The Wolfson Fertility Centre offers comprehensive fertility and IVF interventions for private patients at Hammersmith Hospital. The clinic has been preserving eggs, sperm and embryos for decades and has a long track record of gold standard storage.

Egg freezing has seen countless couples realise their dream of a family later in life. Mr Rehan Salim, Consultant at the
Wolfson Fertility Centre at Hammersmith Hospital, advised that in order to have the best chance, it is key to preserve the eggs when they are still of good quality. Although being in good health is important, the older a woman gets, the greater the percentage of eggs that have genetic abnormalities. This is why older women can experience difficulty in getting pregnant, have a higher rate of miscarriage and increased risk of having a baby with chromosomal abnormalities such as Down’s Syndrome.
While this is not to say an older woman cannot have a healthy unassisted pregnancy, it is vital to be aware of these factors when making these decisions.

Rehan Salim

Mr Salim explained: “At age 30, a woman’s chance of getting pregnant each month is around 20%. From approximately age of 32, a woman’s chance of getting pregnant is expected to decline year on year. Then at 35 the rate of the decline speeds up and by age 40, the chance of getting pregnant is around 5% and more than half of all couples are infertile. By the time a woman is age 45, she has a less than 5% chance of conceiving. Unfortunately, every woman will eventually run out of healthy eggs one day.”

“Due to the decline in egg quality with age, if you are going to freeze your eggs, I would advise to do it as early as you can when your eggs are at their best – ideally in your 20s or early 30s.”

Want to freeze your eggs? Private Pregnancy UK can help you find a Top Fertility Clinic or Private Fertility Consultant.

One woman’s fertile life span may be shorter than others. To get a sense of yours, clinics like The Wolfson Fertility Centre offer fertility assessments such as hormone and AMH blood testing and antral follicle counts. These tests provide a picture of your ovarian reserve, helping you to decide if egg preservation might be right for you or not.

Are you interested in egg freezing? Find out more about the fertility services available at Wolfson Fertility Centre at Hammersmith Hospital. You can also attend one of their monthly fertility open evenings to speak to the team in person.

The private services at the Wolfson Fertility Centre are delivered by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in collaboration with Imperial Private Healthcare.

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