For women who wish to delay having a child until their late thirties, be it for financial or social reasons, egg freezing is becoming an increasingly viable option.
How successful is egg freezing?
To improve the chances of the process being a successful one, a woman will ideally be under 35 years old when she freezes her eggs. While there are limited good studies that look at live birth rates from frozen eggs, what we do know is that approximately 90 per cent survive the process, and of those 70 per cent will fertilise, producing embryos.
The age of the woman at this stage remains an important factor as it does with any pregnancy: live birth rates from frozen eggs decline with age. In terms of potential risks, there are no increased risks in chromosomal abnormalities or development problems.
How does the process work?
Women attending female gynaecologist Miss Amanda Tozer’s London clinic will first have a pelvic ultrasound. This enables Miss Tozer not only to assess the accessibility of the ovaries, but also to check the antral follicle count, an indicator of remaining egg supply (the ovarian reserve).
The treatment of egg collection itself involves daily injections that stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs; the level of stimulation will be adjusted according to your age and your ovarian reserve. Over the next fortnight, you will have two or three scans, before the eggs are collected on approximately days 14 to 16. Miss Tozer will perform the collection herself; the procedure takes around 30 minutes during which you will be sedated. You may experience mild bloating but this should settle within five days of the eggs being collected.
At Amanda Tozer’s London fertility clinic you will benefit from personal, one-to-one care with all aspects of the egg freezing process being explained, assessed and performed by Miss Tozer herself.
Any kind of fertility problem can cause friction in a relationship so it is completely normal for couples presenting at a fertility clinic already to be under some strain. It has also been found that IVF fertility treatment itself is a stressor and is the factor most likely to cause anxiety as the process unfolds. The role of stress during IVF treatment on the outcome has been of considerable interest with variable findings – but any means of easing this will certainly be welcomed by all.
Why is it so stressful?
The situation itself is extremely difficult. With couples longing to conceive, it is natural to oscillate between optimism that this cycle could be the one and then conviction that it is never going to happen. When you introduce hormones from the IVF drugs to the mix, everything becomes more intense. Further exacerbating factors can include a large, impersonal fertility clinic where you have minimal contact with your consultant, see different people for each procedure and don’t feel able to ask questions for fear of them being too trivial.
What can be done to make it less so?
At the Amanda Tozer London fertility clinic, you can be confident of receiving personal one-to-one, attentive and sympathetic care. Female gynaecologist Miss Tozer believes that continuity of care is hugely important and to this end she sees all couples prior to treatment to discuss their options and goes through the injections in detail, ensuring they know how and why to administer the drugs. She personally performs the egg collection, embryo transfer and first early pregnancy scan. Miss Tozer assures her London IVF patients that she can be contacted on her personal telephone at any time during the process, no matter how small the concern. Feedback from previous fertility patients shows that this personal care has been tremendously reassuring throughout what can be a nerve-wracking process.
Endometriosis is the second most common gynaecological condition in the UK affecting around one in 10 women. It is a chronic condition and the symptoms vary, often worsening with the menstrual cycle. Usually affecting women of reproductive age, one of its principal complications is a difficulty in getting pregnant.
What is endometriosis?
The endometrium is the lining of the womb. Endometriosis is a common condition where tissue that behaves like this lining is found elsewhere in the body, most commonly on the ovaries, on the lining of the pelvis and over the top of the vagina. Despite being outside of the womb, the cells of these patches of endometrium react the same way to the monthly cycle as the womb lining: by thickening in preparation for implantation, and then shedding if no fertilisation has occurred. However, with nowhere for this shed tissue to go, the result is often swelling and pain, usually in the lower abdomen or pelvic area. There is no known cure but symptoms are often managed by hormone therapy or medication. Endometriosis can sometimes damage the fallopian tubes or ovaries, thereby impeding a woman’s chances of pregnancy.
Can fertility treatment help?
Endometriosis is a common finding in patients presenting at Miss Amanda Tozer’s London fertility clinic. For women who have visible patches of endometriosis on their reproductive organs, surgery may be able to help. There is good evidence that the removal of these tissues can improve the chances of getting pregnant. During your initial consultation with highly experienced female gynaecologist Miss Tozer, you will discuss your full medical history and will undergo diagnostic tests and a pelvic ultrasound scan. Based in London’s Harley Street, Miss Amanda Tozer is accredited by the RCOG in Obstetric and Gynaecology, Subspecialist in Reproductive Medicine and Minimal Access Surgery, and well respected by her previous fertility patients for her support and attentive care.
Ovulation is a vital factor when a couple are planning a pregnancy. As the woman ovulates, she releases an egg that can then be fertilised by the sperm; fertilisation cannot occur until the egg is released. Some women do not ovulate regularly, and others do not ovulate at all. Female gynaecologist Miss Amanda Tozer treats many women at The London Clinic, helping them to regulate the ovulation process with ovulation induction, thereby increasing their chances of fertilisation.
What factors influence ovulation?
Stress, weight fluctuations and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) are common factors in irregular ovulation. Among other issues, can also be caused by disorders of the thyroid or pituitary glands. During an initial consultation, Miss Amanda Tozer will take a full medical history, conduct a physical examination and run tests to inform her diagnosis; these will include an ultrasound of the ovaries and womb and blood tests.
How does ovulation induction work?
The purpose of ovulation induction is to stimulate the ovaries in order to produce a mature follicle and, in turn, egg growth, which creates a predictable window for intercourse. This is achieved most commonly by using Clomiphene, a mild fertility drug which comes in tablet form. Women take Clomiphene from day 2 to day 6 of a bleed and usually have a scan on day 10 to ensure that ovulation is going to occur and that the ovaries are not over-stimulated. If a woman does not respond to Clomiphene, daily injections of Gonadotrophins may be appropriate; in this case, scanning will be necessary to avoid over-stimulation of the ovaries.
Each woman responds differently to ovulation induction and therefore needs careful monitoring and attention. Amanda Tozer is a highly qualified female gynaecologist with many years’ experience of helping women with fertility problems. At Miss Tozer’s London clinic, you will receive individual care to guide you through this process.