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The Egg Race

eggs1Sonya was thirty eight and had was recently single. She had dated her last partner for five years but he had decided not to marry her as he did not want children. Sonya was distraught. Some months later she heard about the possibility of freezing her eggs. She was aware assisted reproductive techniques now allowed much older women to conceive and she wanted to have this chance herself in case she met someone new. Sonya went to her doctor to discuss this. What should Sonya be advised of before referral?

The technique of oocyte vitrification is now a definite possibility, but its success depends on the woman’s age at time of egg harvesting, plus any medical conditions that could influence her fertility. The success rate in women under age 35 varies with the company.

“Currently we would expect the success rates for egg freezing would be

Success rates are lower for women over 35 and egg freezing in women over the age of 38 is unlikely to lead to a pregnancy.”1

There is no Medicare refund unless the procedure is done to avoid infertility from cancer treatment. The cost is approximately $1000 for hormonal preparation and egg harvesting (as a day stay procedure) $10,000 for egg vitrification and ongoing storage costs of $500 a year to keep the vitrified oocyte.1


1. IVF Australia, Female Fertility Preservation, 2015, Virtus Health


*It should be noted Genea has no statistics on its website but rather invites enquiries.

2. Waldby, C., Hickey, M. & Lieberman, D. Pros and Cons of Egg Freezing for Social Reasons. Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority