Generally, there are two reasons for freezing eggs. Some women need to freeze for medical reasons such as impaired ovarian function and imminent chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment for cancer. Time is of the essence when it comes to protecting your fertility ahead of cancer treatment so it is important to contact a Fertility Specialist immediately to discuss the right plan for you. Other women choose to freeze their eggs because they are aware of the impact of age on fertility so want to give themselves options in later years.
Sperm is frozen using a slightly different method. Clinicians may advise you to freeze sperm:
- if you are about to undergo major surgery or medical treatments, such as chemotherapy for cancer
- if you are exposed to a toxic environment
- if you are having a vasectomy (and there is a possibility that you may want to have children in the future)
- if you have a dangerous profession or pastime where there is risk of injury.
Patients also freeze sperm ahead of assisted reproductive treatment as a backup just in case they are unable to attend due to travel or other commitments or if they have experienced difficulty collecting a sample.
Genea Hollywood aims to do one egg and sperm collection per patient and from this one stimulation cycle, create enough good quality embryos for patients to complete their family. It is the egg collection, with the hormone injections, day surgery procedure and cost - that is the greatest impost to the woman. In contrast, the subsequent use of frozen embryos is simple, often drug free and less than half the cost of a fresh cycle. The One Cycle, One Family approach is at the heart of what we do and so our vitrification technique is of the highest standard to enable us to achieve this.
Vitrification is the process Genea Hollywood uses to freeze eggs and embryos. Genea was the first clinic in Australia to develop and routinely replace the old slow freezing method with the more efficient and successful vitrification process. Older techniques risked ice crystals forming during the freezing process which more commonly caused cell damage. In contrast, vitrification technology is similar to snap freezing whereby scientists place the eggs or embryos in a special solution called a vitrification medium and that solution is then cooled so quickly that the structure of the water molecules does not have time to form ice crystals. Instead it instantaneously solidifies into a glass-like structure.
More on our technology
Ensuring you have access to leading science is key when considering treatment and freezing options. Genea draws on more than 30 years’ experience in fertility treatment to offer the latest innovative technologies in the fertility sector. Protecting and storing your embryos and eggs in optimal fluid and offering consistency in freezing results using Gavi® - all maximise the potential for you to have a baby in the future.