Approximately 10-15% of people who want to have children have had problems with involuntary infertility at some point. Reasons for involuntary infertility depend just as often on factors in women as in men or a combination thereof. Sometimes no explanation can be found. Involuntary infertility might depend on factors that are beyond a person’s control, such as an inherent deviation or illness. Lifestyle habits may also affect the chances of getting pregnant. Healthcare offers investigation and treatment to infertile couples and single women. Around one in four manage to conceive a child after in vitro fertilization (per attempt). Often, it is necessary to undergo repeated treatments before one manages to conceive. The older the woman is the less likely she is to conceive. Most clinics have an age limit (around 40 years old) and sometimes also a weight limit for fertility treatment. Research has shown that many men and women overestimate the chances of having children with the help of assisted reproductive technologies.
Freezing eggs, or freezing unfertilized eggs, is one of the latest treatment methods in assisted reproductive technologies. It means that you can postpone pregnancy for medical or other reasons, for example.
With the help of “vitrification techniques,” unfertilized eggs can be frozen for future use. This means that you freeze the eggs quickly but then thaw them slowly. With the help of a so-called micro-injection of sperm, the eggs are then fertilized.
In order to freeze unfertilized eggs, one first needs to undergo an investigation where existing egg reserves are examined with the help of an ultrasound and blood sample. Together with age and other medical prerequisites, it is determined whether a person is suitable for treatment.
What are the chances of success? Freezing eggs is a relatively new technology; therefore, there is not a lot of research data available. Existing studies indicate that the chances of becoming pregnant are about the same as with normal IVF. Basically, the age of the eggs when they are frozen is the significant factor.
Who is allowed to freeze? In Sweden, there is currently no law in the area of “freezing eggs.” Therefore, the clinics that offer egg freezing have their own regulations and recommendations. The current age limit for egg freezing is 40 and 45 for when the fertilized egg can be reinstated in the uterus.