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Motherhood put on ice

by praveen
September 3rd, 2007

Egg Freezing Now Available To All Women In UK

Women are to be offered for the first time a dedicated egg freezing service that will enable them to have a healthy baby when they choose.
Two Britain’s leading fertility clinics will this month launch new egg freezing programmers designed for women who wish to postpone motherhood to pursue. It could transform women’s lives in a similar way to the con-traceptive pill by enabling them to beat their biological clocks and pick the moment in their lives when it best suits them to start a family.
The programs have been made possible by a breakthrough in freezing technology that almost eliminates the risk of damages to eggs. Until now, egg freezing has largely been restricted by doctors to cancer patients left infertile by chemo-therapy.

Clinics believed the sucess rates of the technology were so low that it was unethical to advise healthy women to use egg freezing for social reasons. Doctores feared the women would sacrifice their chance of conceving naturally and later discover their frozen eggs were too damaged to use.

Now, however, new techniques with far higher success rates have been developed, and the two clinics believe they make it ethically justified to offer a service umed at career women.

the clinics say the egg frozen through techniques know as vitrification emerge from years instorage in almost the same condition as when they were released from the ovaries. Egg freezing costs between ?25,00 and ?3,000 per cycle.

Dr Simon Fishel, mangaing director of Care Fertility, which has 10 fertilly clinics across Britain and will be marketing a new type of egg freezing to all women, said: “Untill now, the conventional technology has been used to freeze eggs mainly only as a dire last resort for women who are preserving fertility before cancer treatment.

“With this new technology, which is almost as dfficient as using fresh eggs, it might make a lot of sense for women in their twenties to have their own bank of eggs stored if they are not considering having a family untill their late thirties. This new technology makes it ethical for us to offer egg freezing to all women.”

In Japan, where vitrification techniques were developed scientists have shown that 90% -95% of eggs can survive the new freezing method compared with 50%-60% using conventional methods.

The techneque involves removing water from the eggs then freezing them at high speed in liquid nitrogen to prevent any damaging crystals from forming.

Doctors belive that, with the availability of more successful methods, thousands of British women over thenext five years will freeze their eggs to postpone starting a family until it is more covenient. Egg freezing costs between ?2,500and ?3,000 per cycle.


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