How many eggs do I need to freeze?
Freezing eggs will never be a guarantee of having a baby in the future, however the more eggs you freeze and the better quality the eggs are, the more likely you will be able to have a baby with your frozen eggs.
There is no way of testing egg quality (aside from trying to fertilize the eggs and grow embryos – but this isn’t very helpful when you’re wanting to freeze eggs). The only method we currently have of estimating how good the quality of a woman’s eggs will be is by considering a woman’s age – the older you are, the lower the quality of your eggs is likely to be. There is some degree of individual variation, but overall age is a very good determinant of egg quality. Occasionally a younger woman will have poor quality eggs, but this is the exception rather than the rule.
We have tests that give us an idea of how many eggs are in a woman’s ovaries at any given point in time – one way is by conducting a blood test (anti-mullerian hormone, or AMH) and the other way is by an ultrasonographer counting the number of ‘antral follicles’ in the ovaries when you have a pelvic ultrasound (an antral follicle count, or AFC). As a general rule, the more eggs you have in your ovaries, the more eggs will be able to be collected with a cycle of egg freezing – although for safety reasons we don’t want to collect too high a number of eggs in any one cycle.
The graph shown below will hopefully give you an idea of how many eggs you would need to freeze to give you a certain percentage chance of having a baby in the future using your frozen eggs. There is no way to tell you which line you will track along (ie, whether your individual eggs will have a 2.5%, 5% or 10% chance of becoming a baby in the future) other than to say that the younger you are, the more likely that you will track towards the upper line, and the older you are, the more likely you are to track towards the lower line. The more eggs you freeze, the greater your chances will be of having a baby (or babies) using your frozen eggs, but this will never be a 100% guarantee.
If you want further information, or would like to discuss whether freezing eggs would be an appropriate option for you, make a consultation to see me.