Singapore Women's & Children's Medical Group

Social Egg Freezing: Your Questions Answered

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The release of the White Paper on Singapore Women’s Development has brought about positive developments in reproductive healthcare, including elective egg freezing or social egg freezing. A recent announcement by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the Health Ministry (MOH) reveals an even greater reason for optimism: the age limit for elective egg freezing (EEF) will be raised from 35 to 37.

This comes as a result of a recent comprehensive review of both local and international evidence, shedding light on the success rates of egg freezing and the utilisation of frozen eggs. The findings from this review indicate that the effectiveness of egg freezing and the subsequent usage of the preserved eggs remain consistently high for women up to the age of 37. 

This progressive change is set to be implemented by July 1 2023, providing additional opportunities and options for women considering this fertility preservation method.
Source: Ministry of Health (MOH)

If you are one of those individuals who have been contemplating freezing your eggs but feel overwhelmed by the abundance of information available, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers to help you navigate this process more confidently.

What are the advantages of egg freezing?

The greatest advantage of egg freezing is time. Egg quality is highly correlated with age. As a woman age, their viability for conceiving decreases. Particularly after 37 years old, fertility begins decreasing at a rapid rate.

With egg freezing, the quality of your eggs is preserved which in turn greatly sustains the chances of conception in future family planning. Whether you want more time for yourself or your career, egg freezing gives you the time advantage.

Is egg freezing suitable for me?

Egg freezing is suitable for anyone who wants to preserve their egg for future use. This procedure may be ideal for people who:

  • Need more time to complete their studies or build their career/finances
  • Have not found a suitable partner yet
  • Have an underlying condition that require heavy medication/treatment such as cancer
  • Want to preserve their eggs, just in case
  • Are not ready to have child but would like to in future

When is the ideal age to freeze your eggs?

As a rule of thumb, the younger the better. Women in their twenties generally reach peak fertility, until age 30, after which it rapidly declines. If you want children but need more time to prepare, egg freezing gives you that very advantage, without reducing your chances for conception.

How does egg freezing work and what’s the surgical procedure like?

  1. Hormone injections for ovary stimulation would be prescribed, which allows for the maturation of multiple eggs
  2. Blood tests and ultrasounds performed to monitor your health and ovulation
  3. Before ovulation happens, egg retrieval is done to extract eggs
  4. Retrieved eggs would be scanned for possible birth defects using pre-genetic testing (PGT)
  5. Eggs then undergo flash freezing, also known as vitrification, before it goes into storage

How long does the egg freezing procedure take?

The entire procedure may take between 10 to 14 days.

How long can the eggs be stored?

With cryopreservation, eggs can be stored indefinitely. The flash freezing method ensures for marginal damage to eggs and effectively preserves its quality. However, most women use their eggs within ten years.

How many eggs should you store?

Depending on age, your healthcare provider may recommend preserving 10-15 eggs. Older women may need undergo more than one egg retrieval cycle to collect healthier eggs while women under 35 can expect to produce sufficient eggs in one cycle.

How much does the procedure cost?

  • Egg freezing: $10,000* to $12,000*
  • Egg storage: $400* to $800* annually

* actual cost might differ due to the treatment prescribed and centre where procedures are performed

What is the success rate for egg freezing?

Egg freezing is known to be a low-risk procedure that generally leads to high rates of success. Research suggests that thawed eggs have a 90% survival rate.

What’s the difference between egg freezing and embryo freezing?

The main difference lies in the cell structure. An egg is made up of a single cell enclosed in liquid while an embryo refers to an already fertilized egg with multiplied cells.

There are slight advantages to freezing embryos over freezing eggs. Due to its single cell nature, eggs are marginally more vulnerable to flash freezing than embryos. Studies show that frozen embryos have an approximate 95% survival rate, versus frozen eggs at 90%.

What should I do when I am ready to conceive?

When you are ready to have children, consult your healthcare provider to decide on the subsequent steps. Your doctor will likely run tests to ensure you are in good health before taking your egg out from storage.

After you have undergone the necessary tests, your eggs will be thawed and prepared for fertilization. Once fertilization is complete, the embryo will be transferred back into your uterus, where it may possibly lead to a healthy, normal pregnancy.

Make an appointment with our fertility nurses at +65 6659 6638 or WhatsApp +65 8028 9431

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