Egg freezing

The best time to have a baby is an incredibly personal decision and one that takes significant thought and consideration. As part of this decision-making process, you may choose to freeze your eggs. Getting started is simple. The first step is to arrange a consultation and ovarian reserve testing. At your consult, you and your doctor will review your current fertility and if egg freezing is a good option for you, right now.

Our Egg freezing success rates

The chance of success using frozen eggs reflects how many eggs you stored and how old you were when you stored them.

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  • Introduction

    As a woman, you are born with two ovaries, each containing resting eggs or follicles. At 20 weeks gestation, you have about 6 million eggs, which is the largest amount of eggs you will ever have in your lifetime. At birth, you will lose approximately half of your eggs, and by the time you reach puberty, you will only have about 200,000 eggs left. As you age, your egg quantity will continue to decrease, and the quality will as well. Understandably, diminished egg quality and quantity can significantly impact your ability to conceive.
  • Egg freezing by Vitrification

    Egg freezing represents a way to suspend your fertility in time, preventing the decrease in quality and quantity that inevitably comes with age. You will, of course, still continue to age. But the eggs that you freeze will stay suspended in time at the quality you possessed at the time of the freeze. Vitrification, or flash-freezing, is a very efficient and effective method of freezing your eggs that demonstrates strong survival, fertilization, and embryonic development rates after your frozen eggs have been thawed. By applying this newer technology, Glasgow Royal Fertility Clinic has seen a sharp increase in survival rates of the eggs after thaw. Pregnancy rates have also been reassuring. This technology is instrumental in helping you freeze enough mature eggs now, so that when you are ready to use them, you will have multiple opportunities to become pregnant in the event that a cycle is unsuccessful.
  • When to freeze your eggs

    On average, the most optimal time to freeze is in your early to mid-30s while your fertility potential is still near its peak. However, at our practice, you can freeze your eggs between the ages of 30 and 40. It's about finding a balance. Some women may need to freeze younger, while some have more time. This is dependent on medical history and ovarian reserve function. The reason these age guidelines exist is due to female fertility's age-based decline. In your early 20s, fertility begins to decline, but conception rates remain high into the 30s. By your mid-30s, this decline accelerates to reach minimal pregnancy potential. In addition, women in their late 30s and early 40s have an increased risk of age-dependent changes in egg quality, sometimes resulting in miscarriage and/or genetic abnormalities in their children.
  • What to expect - number of eggs to freeze

    Human reproduction is quite inefficient—many are surprised to learn that the chance of conception each month is only around 10 to 20 percent, depending on age. As a result, the average couple takes 5 to 7 months to conceive naturally. At the beginning of each cycle, several follicles containing an egg are present, with only one that will develop, mature, and release through ovulation. The remaining eggs die off and are no longer available for conception. Not every egg will result in a pregnancy when couples try to conceive on their own, and the same truth applies when you freeze your eggs. Thus, we recommend that women 37 or younger who have excellent ovarian function freeze between 15 to 20 mature eggs. For women over 38, or women at any age with diminished ovarian function, we recommend freezing 25 to 30 eggs. This provides you with multiple attempts to conceive if a cycle is unsuccessful.
  • Egg freezing cycle timeline

    After you complete ovarian reserve testing, attend the physician consultation, and decide to move forward with egg freezing, you will work with your physician and nursing team to determine a timeline of when to start an egg- freezing cycle. On average, the entire process takes 1 month, but the most time-intensive portion lasts for only 10 to 12 days. The cycle is comprised of five main steps:
  • Cycle Day 1 (10 to 12 days; 6 to 9 monitoring appointments)

    Upon the start of your menstrual cycle, you will initiate daily injectable medications. The medications are higher doses of hormones that replicate the natural hormones your body produces to mature one egg. Our goal is to stimulate a larger number of eggs (than what your body would do naturally) in order to freeze. During this time, you will come to Glasgow Royal Fertility Clinic for regular monitoring appointments—which include blood tests and ultrasound—to ensure follicles are growing appropriately and to change medication dosages, if necessary.
  • Trigger Injection

    At the end of the stimulation period, you will get a trigger injection. This injection helps the eggs mature and signals the body to release the eggs.
  • Egg Retrieval

    Two days following the trigger injection, you will have your egg retrieval at Glasgow Royal fertility Clinic. This transvaginal procedure takes a total of 20 to 25 minutes while you are under anesthesia. Recovery will take about 30 minutes and you will be able to walk out on your own. It's important that a responsible adult drive you home after the procedure, as it is unsafe to drive after receiving anaesthesia. The person who is driving you will not need to stay at our centre during your procedure — he or she should anticipate returning for you after approximately 3 hours.
  • Freezing the Retrieved Eggs

    Once your eggs are retrieved, embryologists in the laboratory evaluate the eggs to determine which ones are mature. We will then freeze these eggs using vitrification, or fast-freeze technology, and store them in liquid nitrogen. We will contact you the following day to let you know how many of your eggs we were able to freeze. Two weeks later, you can expect to have your period.
  1. How can I prepare my body for egg freezing?

    The main thing we tell our patients is to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. Other factors that can hinder your fertility include: excessive caffeine, smoking, drugs, and alcohol. If you are a current smoker, we recommend stopping at least three months prior to starting a cycle.
  2. What are the side effects of hormone medications?

    The side effects of hormone medications are largely dependent on the individual. Some women may experience heightened symptoms similar to what is experienced during premenstrual syndrome (PMS); others may feel increased bloating and some discomfort related to the enlarged ovaries.
  3. How many cycles will it take to reach the recommended 15 to 20 or 20 to 30 mature eggs?

    Women who are 37 years or younger and have a normal ovarian reserve will retrieve an average of 9 eggs per cycle. Therefore, it will likely take women two cycles to reach the desired 15 to 20 mature eggs. Statistically, 17% of women will achieve the desired number of eggs with the first cycle, 47 % will achieve this by the second cycle, 25 % will achieve this by the third cycle, and 10% will achieve this by the fourth cycle. On average, women with poor ovarian reserve or women over 37 will need three cycles to achieve 25 eggs.
  4. Is there an age limit on egg freezing?

    We do not recommend egg freezing after the age of 41 but the decision needs to be individualized based on many factors.
  5. How many eggs do you thaw at a time?

    Our embryologists freeze and thaw eggs in batches typically ranging from 6 to 8 eggs—this increases your chances of developing a high-quality embryo with strong pregnancy potential. If you have previously frozen 20 mature eggs, this should provide you with multiple attempts at achieving a pregnancy, and possibly have even more than one child. Depending on how many eggs from each batch fertilize, you could even have multiple pregnancy attempts possible from a single batch.
  6. What are the pregnancy rates using frozen eggs?

    Women who are 37 and younger who freeze the recommended 15 to 20 mature eggs from multiple cycles have a 70 to 80 percent chance of taking home a baby. Women who are 38-40 years old who freeze the recommended 25 to 30 mature eggs have a 65 to 75 percent chance of taking home a baby.
  7. What is the process of using frozen eggs?

    We recommend that you first try to conceive on your own, however if you are over 35 and have been trying for 6 months, the first step would be to arrange an appointment with your doctor and your partner would need to complete a full fertility workup. Once you are ready to use your frozen eggs, you would use medications to prepare your uterus for implantation. We would thaw and fertilize your eggs and then transfer an embryo.
  8. How do I use donor sperm?

    We work with several certified sperm banks and can help you get started with the process. Once you select a sperm donor, the process is the same preparing your body and eggs for transfer.


We are delighted to be able to offer fertility preservation treatment as a treatment package with a single cost from the moment you decide to pursue treatment. Our full price list can be found here for download, but below is a summary of what the fertility preservation packages includes, whether you be storing eggs or embryos. At any time, if you have any questions about the fees, please contact us as soon as possible on 0141 956 0509 to speak to a member of staff.