Does egg freezing increase the chances of achieving pregnancy?

Women who use their own, previously frozen eggs have a pregnancy rate of over 60%

01/06/18

Women who use their own, previously frozen eggs have a pregnancy rate of over 60%

In young couples with no fertility problems and who have regular intercourse, the odds of achieving a viable pregnancy each month is of maximum 25%. As the years pass, and especially after the age of 35 in the case of women, these chances decrease gradually as eggs and their quality declines. From age 42, only 5% of women manage to become pregnant naturally, and even then, in those cases, the risk of miscarriage or of the baby being born with chromosomal abnormalities is very high. Women who intend to have children but are still waiting for the right time therefore have the option to freeze their eggs. To what extent does this increase their chances of achieving pregnancy in the future?

A team of investigators from the Reproductive Medicine Unit at Dexeus Mujer conducted a retrospective study to find out. To this end, they monitored more than 300 women aged 37.6 ± 2.8 years who had their eggs frozen at our clinic between 2009 and 2017 due to the desire to delay motherhood. In that time, 71 women decided to conceive, but only 47% used previously frozen eggs to do so. 28% of the women decided not to thaw cryopreserved eggs, opting for in vitro fertilization (IVF) or artificial insemination with fresh oocytes instead. Finally, 25% of these women became pregnant spontaneously.

Of the women who used their own thawed oocytes, more than half managed to get pregnant at the first attempt while four miscarried. The cumulative pregnancy rate in that group (i.e. the total number of pregnancies all cycles combined) exceeded 60%. In contrast, among the women who chose not to thaw cryopreserved oocytes and to use fresh ones instead, the pregnancy rate was 38%. According to the researchers, the lower pregnancy rate is attributable to age and confirms that storing younger, higher-quality eggs increases a woman's chances of becoming a mother in the future.

 

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