Page URL:

More US fertility clinics now 'freeze' eggs

12 July 2010
Appeared in BioNews 566

More than half of US fertility clinics are now prepared to 'freeze' eggs, a new study has revealed. This option was traditionally reserved for women undergoing cancer therapy or for other medical reasons, but now two out of every three clinics in the US that provide egg 'freezing' will offer the service to healthy women who simply want to preserve their fertility while delaying childbearing, the study found.

'It's kind of an insurance against one's biological clock', lead researcher Dr Briana Rudick of the University of Southern California told Reuters Health. 'It almost allows a woman to serve as her own egg donor in the future, should she not have met Mr Right and started a family by then'.

Dr Rudick and her colleagues surveyed 282 clinics across the US, of which 143 said they offer egg 'freezing'. Another quarter said they plan to offer it in the near future, with most of the rest citing a lack of demand as their main reason for holding back.

Not all clinics that 'freeze' eggs offered the procedure indiscriminately, however. The researchers found that a third still restrict the option to cancer patients or as an alternative to 'freezing' leftover embryos for women attempting in vitro fertilisation. Only 26 per cent of clinics surveyed would provide the option to women beyond 40 years old.

While it has long been possible to freeze sperm and embryos for future use in fertility treatment, it has taken much longer to achieve this routinely for eggs. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine Practice Committee calls egg 'freezing' 'experimental since efficacy and safety are unproven'.

But the technique is seeing growing acceptance, the study authors say. According to Dr Rudick, this is in part because pregnancy rates with frozen embryos are now approaching success rates using standard IVF on fresh eggs. Egg 'freezing' at the centres in the study had a 39 per cent pregnancy rate, which for younger women is comparable to success rates using frozen embryos.

The study was published in medical journal Fertility and Sterility.

More than half of fertility clinics now freeze eggs
Reuters |  30 June 2010
The status of oocyte cryopreservation in the United States
Fertility and Sterility |  18 June 2010
12 September 2016 - by Dr Rachel Montgomery 
Following the increase in 'social' egg freezing, the ten-year time limit on the storage of human eggs should be removed, according to a leading academic at the London School of Economics....
9 January 2012 - by Dr Rosie Morley 
A new study has shown that babies born following IVF using frozen embryos may be born later and weigh more than babies born from fresh embryos....
9 January 2012 - by Dr Louisa Petchey 
Five-year-old Reuben Blake has already started school, but his twin sister Floren, conceived during the same IVF treatment cycle, has only just been born...
16 May 2011 - by Ayesha Ahmad 
A fertility clinic in Amsterdam has announced it is to offer egg freezing techniques on social grounds despite professional bodies recommending that the procedure be investigated further....
1 November 2010 - by Dr Charlotte Maden 
New research has revealed many men receiving treatment for cancer are not offered the chance to bank their sperm. Chemotherapy drugs may cause fertility problems but men may choose to store their sperm prior to treatment for future use...
28 June 2010 - by Harriet Vickers 
A large number of female university students say they would undergo egg freezing to allow time to build a career, a relationship, or become financially stable. However, older women who go through the procedure say it is because they want time to find the right man...
23 October 2009 - by Sarah Norcross 
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Storage Period for Gametes and Embryos) Regulations 2009 came into force on 1 October 2009 under negative Parliamentary procedure. Soon after, however, a prayer was moved for the regulations to be annulled and a debate took place on 21 October 2009 in the House of Lords....
10 July 2008 - by Alison Cranage 
A new study shows that it is better to use frozen, rather than fresh embryos in IVF treatment. The research was reported by Dr Anja Pinborg at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Barcelona last week. The study has...
to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions

Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.