Egg freezing: why age matters?

why age matters in egg freezing

For years, the media has speculated on Jennifer Aniston’s ‘choice’ not to have children and now she has finally shared the truth about her struggles with IVF and trying to conceive.

In an interview published in Allure this month, she spoke candidly about her attempts to get pregnant with IVF during her late 30s and 40s.

“I was trying to get pregnant. It was a challenging road for me, the baby-making road,” she said.

“All the years and years and years of speculation… It was really hard. I was going through IVF, drinking Chinese teas, you name it. I was throwing everything at it.”

Jennifer also revealed that she wished that someone had advised her to freeze her eggs at an earlier age: “I would’ve given anything if someone had said to me: ‘Freeze your eggs. Do yourself a favour.’ You just don’t think it. So here I am today. The ship has sailed.”

So, why is your age such an important when it comes to egg freezing?

A study carried out by Imperial College London researchers published earlier this year found that women who freeze their eggs at 40 are unlikely to have a successful live birth. This supports the advice from Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) that age is the key factor in egg freezing success.

The Imperial College London study suggested that women should be encouraged to undergo elective oocyte cryopreservation, commonly known as egg freezing, before the age of 36 to mitigate age-related fertility decline.

Egg freezing is becoming more and more popular as a fertility preservation and the results from the UK study suggest women should be encouraged to undergo egg freezing much earlier than the evidence suggests they are currently doing.

Egg freezing FAQs:

  1. What is the best age to freeze your eggs?

Fertility begins to decline from the age of 35, this decline becomes more rapid once you reach your mid-30s and so your optimum age to freeze your eggs would be your late 20s and early 30s.

  1. What happens during the egg freezing process?

Our fertility nurses are on hand to take you through the whole process. This usually starts with hormonal injections on day two of your cycle for approximately two weeks. We will carry out regular scans to monitor your progress and, when the follicles have reached the right stage of development, we give you a trigger injection to encourage final maturation of the eggs within the follicles.

Egg collection is then scheduled 36-38 hours later. This is a minor surgical procedure lasting between 20 and 30 minutes, carried out under intravenous sedation. The eggs are checked and then frozen and stored for your use in the future.

  1. How long can my eggs be stored?

Previously, eggs, sperm or embryos could only be stored for up to ten years except in cases of premature infertility or if undergoing medical treatment which could affect fertility. On 1 July 2022, these rules changed and now the law permits you to store eggs, sperm or embryos for up to 55 years, although you need to renew your consent every ten years.

If you have more questions about egg freezing and our success rates, call +44 (0) 203 263 6025 or email to arrange a consultation with one of our fertility specialists.