Egg freezing


How acting now can give you a better chance of a success in the future

Enquiries & Appointments

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Over the last 30 years, the average age of first-time mothers in the UK has been increasing consistently. In 2013 it passed the age of 30 for the first time, and more than 20% of babies are now born to mothers over 35.

With a whole range of factors to consider, from career development to financial stability, many women are opting for “social” egg freezing. This allows you the chance to freeze your eggs at an optimal age to give you the best possible chance of a successful pregnancy in the future.

These chances have been given a boost with the introduction of "vitrification", a new rapid cryopreservation technique that minimises crystal formation, which limits damage during the freeze/thaw process.

In short, your long-term fertility is now a viable option. 

And that’s where we come in. The Lister Fertility Clinic team is here to help put you in control of your fertility with expert advice, in a warm and welcoming environment with a history of successful treatment.

How does egg freezing work?

The initial steps (1-4) are similar to that in an IVF cycle:

  1. Follicle stimulation hormone (FSH) injections. These stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple follicles (each one potentially contains an egg), over a period of around two weeks.
  2. 3-4 scans (with blood tests) over the same period. This is to monitor the number and size of the follicles, which helps us assess the best time to collect them.
  3. When the leading follicle reaches 18+mm*, you’ll have a trigger injection (a hormone injection) to mature the eggs before collection.
  4. We’ll collect the eggs using a minor vaginal procedure performed under anaesthetic, so there’s no pain, and use ultrasound to guide the procedure.
  5. After collection, we’ll identify which eggs are mature. These eggs are then cryopreserved using the vitrification process. When needed these eggs can be thawed and fertilised using special micromanipulation techniques (ICSI).

*in some cases, the doctor may trigger at less than 18 mm. This will be a decision based on your individual needs and form part of your personalised treatment plan.

Download our step-by-step explanation on the egg freezing process

What's the success rate?

Increasingly, data from around the world suggests that frozen eggs can be as effective in achieving pregnancy as fresh eggs. Similarly, long-term data on pregnancy risk factors shows no increase in those risks.

Since adopting the vitrification technique* in October 2009, we’ve performed more than 2500 cycles of social egg freezing at the Lister Fertility Clinic.

The table below outlines our success (to Jan 2023) using this technique with eggs following a planned egg freeze. It also shows the most recent national data which, at the time of writing, makes no distinction between slow-frozen eggs and vitrified eggs.

If we divide by age at freeze, it further suggests very similar success rates overall with frozen eggs. Women who have frozen their eggs at under 35 years old, between 35-40 and over 40 have had success rates of 40%, 30% and 16% respectively using their frozen eggs.


Type of Rate

Lister Vitrification Data

Most recent HFEA Data

Pregnancy Rate / Thaw cycle

43.8% (21/48)


Ongoing Pregnancy Rate / Thaw cycle

31.5% (23/73)


Pregnancy Rate / Embryo Transfer

53.3% (21/36)


Ongoing Pregnancy Rate / Embryo Transfer

44.2% (23/52)




How much does egg freezing cost?

The cost of one egg freezing cycle is £3,790.

This fee includes:

  • All scans 
  • All nursing and medical input
  • Visits throughout the cycle
  • Hospital admission and medical costs of the egg collection procedure, preparation and freezing of the eggs and storage for one year

We also have a three-cycle package available at £9,450, with an additional small storage fee each year.

Many people find they need more than one cycle to have enough eggs to give a reasonable chance of success. Our three-cycle package gives you that chance.

The cost of the drugs for each cycle will depend on your age and your egg reserve, but we would estimate something between £800 and £1,200.

Timothy Bracewell-Milnes Nov 23

Egg freezing: Expert advice

Mr Tim Bracewell-Milnes is a consultant gynaecologist and subspecialist in reproductive medicine and surgery at the Lister Fertility Clinic. Here Tim provides some advice for preparing for egg freezing, including how the process works, whether certain conditions cause any issues and how your age can affect the outcome.

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Free Egg Freezing Open Evenings

If you’d like to meet our clinic team and find out more about the process, then our open evenings, held both online and in-person, give you the chance to do just that.

Designed to help people who are actively thinking about their fertility treatment options, the evenings feature a presentation about the egg freezing options available at the clinic and an overview of the IVF process itself. You’ll also have the chance to ask questions and have them answered live by our team of specialists.

Egg freezing: Your questions answered

Our Lister Fertility Clinic specialist answers some of the most frequently asked questions about egg freezing

To maximise your chances of conception following egg freezing, you may need a number of stimulation cycles. From our egg thaw cycles themselves (up to Dec 2018) 1 in every 19 eggs thawed has achieved a pregnancy and 1 in 22 a live birth/ongoing pregnancy.

Dividing by age:

  • 1 in 18 eggs frozen when a woman is under 35 have achieved a live birth/ongoing pregnancy
  • 1 in 25 eggs frozen between 35 to 40 have achieved a live birth/ongoing pregnancy
  • Many more are required over 40 to achieve a live birth/ongoing pregnancy

Bearing the above in mind, we recommend women freeze their eggs at as young an age as possible and aim to have at least 20 eggs in storage. However, there is no guarantee of success with any number of eggs as other factors such as egg quality are also relevant. Some women may achieve success with only a few eggs, while others may be unsuccessful with over 20.

  • To increase your chances we offer egg freezing packages for those considering more than one stimulation cycle.
The law allows you to store your eggs for any period up to 55 years. We’ll send you a letter every year so you can confirm you want to continue storing them.

The main benefit of freezing your eggs is that it allows you to preserve their quality at the time they were frozen. They can then be used at a later stage when the quality of your remaining eggs may have significantly reduced. However, it’s not as simple as “the sooner the better”.

 Despite the age-related decline in both quality and quantity, there are pitfalls and risks to both freezing too early as well as too late. It is, therefore, a delicate balance between social benefit and the physical, emotional and financial burden of treatment.

From a social perspective, while freezing your eggs may give you the peace of mind of a potential "fertility insurance policy" for the future if needed, there’s no absolute guarantee of success. Freezing should never be seen as a definitive alternative to natural conception. In fact, this kind of false reassurance could be detrimental to your overall chances of conception.

We recommend considering the following:

  1. If you’re embarking on any treatment (such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy) that may impact on ovarian reserve and future fertility, egg freezing could be a good option.
  2. Ideally, you would look to freeze your eggs in your early to mid-30s if you have no imminent plans to start a family.
  3. For those over 35, depending on social circumstance and your egg reserve, the numbers of eggs needed to yield a potential success will be higher, and your overall chance of future success lower.

Once the eggs are stored, the success rate is "locked-in" at the age they were frozen. The duration they spend cryopreserved has no bearing on the future outcome of treatment.

So, you could freeze them two or 10 years before you want to have children with similar outcomes. The key, as we have discussed above, is deciding at what age to freeze them.

No, but this is a common misconception. In any given cycle, a number of follicles with eggs in them will be recruited from your stores ready to respond to your hormones and grow.

In a natural cycle, in response to your "follicle stimulating hormone" (FSH) your follicles will begin to grow, before one becomes the dominant follicle. As this matures, so does the egg inside it, which is then released when you ovulate. The rest will die away before a new batch comes through ready for next month, if you’re not pregnant.

When we stimulate your ovaries with FSH injections for IVF or egg-freezing, all we’re doing is making this process more efficient by stimulating more of those that have already been recruited. As more follicles grow, we are able to collect as many eggs as possible. We do not recruit any more than are already there, so it shouldn’t have any long-term effect on your fertility or bring menopause on earlier.

Nevertheless, one of the non-intended social consequences is the false sense of security that may lead to someone delaying trying for a baby naturally. Should the frozen eggs prove unsuccessful, the patient may face the prospect of trying for a baby with fresh eggs at an older age, thus lowering their chances of success.

Egg freezing Consultants

Mr Benjamin Jones

Mr Benjamin Jones

Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Dr. Shabana Bora

Dr. Shabana Bora

Fertility Medicine

Dr. Justin Chu

Dr. Justin Chu

Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Mr James Nicopoullos

Mr James Nicopoullos

Fertility Medicine

Our locations

Lister Fertility Clinic at The Portland Hospital

Lister Fertility Clinic at The Portland Hospital

215 Great Portland Street W1W 5PN London
Lister Fertility Clinic

Lister Fertility Clinic

Chelsea Bridge Road SW1W 8RH London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.