What Is Egg Freezing?
Egg freezing, also known as mature oocyte cryopreservation, is a method used to allow women to preserve their fertility by harvesting eggs at a younger age and used when they are ready to conceive later in life. Eggs / Oocytes harvested from the ovaries are frozen unfertilised, and stored for later use. A frozen egg can be thawed, combined with sperm in a lab, and implanted in your uterus (in vitro fertilisation with intracytoplasmic sperm injection).
Egg Freezing in Singapore
Starting from 1 July 2023, women who are at least 21 years old but are below 38 years old will be legally permitted to freeze their eggs for non-medical reasons in Singapore through Elective Egg Freezing at Raffles Fertility Centre.
In Singapore, women who wish to utilise their frozen eggs are required to meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, which includes being legally married; and if they are above 45 years of age, there will be further guidelines and assessments.
Reasons for Egg Freezing
Egg freezing can be carried out for a variety of reasons. Reasons may include:
Medical conditions or circumstances that affect your fertility.
These includes sickle cell anaemia and autoimmune diseases such as lupus, and low egg reserves (often after ovarian cysts removal).
Cancer treatment or other procedures that may affect your ability to conceive.
Certain medical treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy can affect your fertility. Undergoing egg freezing before your treatment can help to preserve your eggs and increase your chances of conceiving later in life after treatment completion.
Preserving younger eggs for future use.
Freezing eggs at a younger age might help increase your chances of conceiving in the future when you are ready to start a family.
Risks of Egg Freezing
As like all medical procedures, egg freezing carries various risks. They include:
Conditions related to the use of fertility drugs.
While rare, the use of injectable fertility drugs, such as folliclestimulating hormone or luteinising hormone, can cause your ovaries to be swollen and painful after ovulation or egg retrieval. Signs and symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
There is also a rare possibility of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), a more severe form of the syndrome that can be life-threatening. Signs of OHSS include shortness of breath, water retention in the abdomen and lungs, and blood clots in your veins.
Complications from egg retrieval procedure.
While rare, the use of an aspirating needle to retrieve eggs may cause bleeding, infection, or damage to the bowel.
Impact on emotional health.
Egg freezing offers women a chance to conceive in their later years. However, it comes with risks and there is no guarantee of success. The risk of miscarriage after egg freezing is determined by the age of the woman at the time the eggs were frozen. Women above 36 years old have a significantly lower rate of embryo development, and generally face a higher chance of a miscarriage due to older eggs. Emotional support from one’s partner and loved ones are crucial during this phase.
Preparing for Egg Freezing
Step 1: Ovarian reserve testing
To determine the quantity and quality of your eggs, your fertility specialist may test the Anti-Müllerian Hormone level in your blood. Results will help the expert decide on the dosage and type of hormonal injections required to optimise your ovarian’s response.
An ultrasound of the ovaries might also be ordered to get a more complete picture of your ovarian function and to check for other conditions, such as ovarian cysts that may affect your egg retrieval.
Step 2: Reproductive hormone tests
Such as FSH, LH and Estradiol will be ordered to determine the treatment plan and dosages of the fertility medication during ovarian stimulation.
Step 3: Infectious disease screening
Before the procedure, you will also be screened or certain infectious diseases such as HIV, venereal disease, hepatitis B and C, cytomegalovirus, and rubella.
How is Egg Freezing Conducted?
The procedure will begin with ovarian stimulation, during which hormonal injections will be carried out for about 2 weeks. This is expected to prompt the ovary to produce more eggs than usual.
Once ready, the eggs will be harvested from the ovaries and frozen for storage. When a woman determines that she is ready to conceive, the eggs can be thawed and fertilised with her husband’s sperm to create an embryo and implanted into the uterus.
Raffles Fertility Centre has launched the Female Fertility Package for women to determine their fertility potential, which can aide their decision for family planning or to consider freezing their eggs first.
How Much Does Egg Freezing Costs?
You will need to see one of our fertility specialists for consultation to determine if you qualify medically to proceed with egg freezing.
You will also need to be of age 21 to 38 years old of age.
The Elective Egg Freezing Package is at $12,888 inclusive of GST.
The package is inclusive of:
- Preconception Test
- Cycle Management (consultation and ultrasound scan)
- Fertility Medications / injections (Gonal F or Puregon or Rekovelle)
- Oocyte Pick up and freezing
- 1 year of storage
It does not include:
- Consultation(s), and scan(s) before the start of the stimulation
- AMH and other hormone /blood test
- Any other medications / supplements not on the list
- Storage Fee after 1 year
- Any additional medication or tests not listed on the package
- Nursing injection fees
You can make an appointment online or contact the fertility clinic to consult a fertility specialist. Under Specialist Appointment Details, select "Assisted Reproductive Medicine" or "Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Fertility".
FAQs: Frequently asked questions about egg freezing in Singapore
It's a major decision to decide whether or not to freeze your eggs. The procedure, whether egg freezing is best for them, and what to anticipate are all questions that many women have. To lessen some of these uncertainties, here are some of the most typical queries from women looking into this opportunity, just like you.
Meet Our Fertility Specialists
Make An Appointment
Make an appointment online or contact the fertility clinic to consult a fertility specialist. Under Specialist Appointment Details, select "Assisted Reproductive Medicine" or "Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Fertility".