I am almost 35 (in a month) and single. I have heard about freezing my eggs and whilst this is a great option, I wanted to know about ongoing costs. Is this expensive? Can I also do egg sharing or am I too old? Dawn, Manchester
The first point to make about any costs relating to any type of fertility treatment is that it varies, sometimes widely, between clinics across the UK. This is also the same for egg-freezing.
The process of egg-freezing is similar to the standard In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) approach. In order to collect your eggs your ovaries need to be stimulated and your eggs collected in the operating theatre. Once your eggs are collected they can then be frozen unlike in IVF, when your eggs would be introduced to sperm at this stage to create embryos for transfer into your uterus.
As the process is so similar the cost of egg-freezing tends to be close to the price of IVF and will likely cost you £3-4000, for one egg collection and freeze (with medication costing up to £1,200 on top). Many clinics now offer egg-freezing packages so that you can have several egg collections. Multiple collections gives you more eggs to freeze (around 1/3 of frozen eggs will not survive being thawed), and the price is typically around £8,000-£10,000 (plus medication).
It’s worth noting that you can store your eggs for up to 10 years and that there be annual storage fees charged by your clinic. Storage fees can range from £300-£700 per year, but some clinics offer multi-year packages for storage.
Egg sharing can be a great way to reduce your costs as clinics will either perform treatment for free or charge a heavily discounted rate (often around £1,000). Clinics will usually consider egg-sharers between the age of 18-35 if they are of normal weight with a good ovarian reserve and no family history of inheritable disease. You may want to check with the clinic about any additional criteria.
As an egg-sharer it’s also worth considering that you will be required to attending counselling so that you understand the nature of your commitment e.g. that you will be identifiable to any children born using your eggs.
About the Expert
Ash Carroll-Miller, Access Fertility
Ash is the founder and CEO of Access Fertility, an innovative company that reduces the cost of IVF, provides refunds for unsuccessful cycles and helps patients finance their treatment. His passion is making the treatment process simpler and more accessible to patients.
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