By Dr Simone Campbell, a specialist at City Fertility Brisbane City
If you are considering freezing your eggs, at Chill, our egg freezing service, we encourage patients to first understand where they are today fertility-wise prior to making any decisions about their future fertility.
When we first meet with patients, it is our top priority to discuss what their actual chances of achieving a pregnancy using frozen eggs is based on their individual personal circumstances, as no two women are the same.
In order to determine where a patient is at, we look at a range of factors including age, ovarian reserve, lifestyle factors, medical conditions and other general factors. Here are some of the reasons why these factors are important:
Your current age is probably the most significant factors impacting your fertility. Age is directly linked to the quantity and quality of your eggs and hence the likelihood of a pregnancy. As female ages, the quality and quantity of her eggs decline. We look at whether:
- a patient might be younger and not planning to start a family for many years, and hence wiser to consider freezing their eggs in a few years’ time.
- a patient who is older and whether there are enough eggs to freeze, and if not whether other options should be considered first.
- a patient’s age is ideally suited to egg freezing and other factors are also aligned, making them a suitable candidate for egg freezing.
Your ovarian reserve
With the help of a simple blood test called an Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) test (and if needed an ultrasound), we can be guided on whether a patient has a high, normal or low egg reserve.
- If a patient has an overly high egg reserve then it can sometimes indicate Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) which requires further investigations.
- If a patient has a normal to high egg reserve this is a positive indicator that they will likely have enough eggs to freeze.
- If a patient has a low egg reserve, they may find it difficult to get enough eggs to freeze and may want to consider freezing embryos instead of eggs or trying for pregnancy (if relationship situation is suitable). If single and pregnancy is a priority, a patient may wish to consider using a sperm donor to freeze embryos or to try for a pregnancy.
Lifestyle and medical conditions
We carefully consider a patient’s general health and if it is safe to put them through an egg freezing procedure at this point in time? Things that are closely reviewed include:
- current weight
- general health
- medical conditions
- menstrual cycles and whether it is regular or not.
By taking a holistic view of a patient’s current situation and weighing up all the fertility factors, we can help with the decision of whether egg freezing is the right choice for a patient at the current point in time. If it is not, there are often several other options that can assist in achieving the dream of parenthood whether that be sooner or later.
Phone: 1300 354 354