Women are waiting until later in life to start a family now. Nearly half of the babies born in England and Wales are to women aged 30 or older and as a form of ‘fertility insurance’ some are turning to egg freezing. Although egg freezing has been legal for more than a decade in Britain, fertilisation rates have been poor. This is because eggs are among the most fragile cells in the human body and the majority burst when exposed to extreme temperatures.
Vitrification was pioneered five years ago and signalled a significant breakthrough. It works by taking the eggs down to 196C in 60 seconds, so fast there is no time for damaging ice crystals to form and therefore the likelihood of them surviving the freezing process improves significantly. Pregnancy rates have also risen to 30-40% compared with 8% from earlier methods of freezing. There has also been an upsurge in the number of women undergoing treatment. But despite the swell in interest as few as 20 babies have been born from frozen eggs in Britain.
IVF advice online can be a first port of call for families trying to have a baby but if you are struggling with having a baby Simply Better Births can offer you tailored birth plan help, they also offer a 24 hour baby advice service.