Endometriosis UK
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Should young Endo sufferers be given the chance to freeze their eggs on the NHS?

One of the young ladies in my support group has been told by her specialist to start trying now for a family. At the age of 19 she does not feel ready mentally or financially and this has sparked a bit of a debate as to wether endo sufferers should be given the opportunity to freeze their eggs on the NHS ..... Your thoughts would be appreciated xx

5 Replies

I was told the same at 21. I felt so scared of being childless, that my partner (my husband now) did start trying. I had my first child at 23, second at 26 and third at 29.

I have had five pregnancies with medical/ surgical help.

Unfortunately two of the pregnancies ended in miscarriage but I am blessed with three children.

I'm so glad I was told to have children when I did as I don't think we would have had my family if I'd ignored this advice.

As for freezing eggs on the NHS..... I'm not sure!

I hope that more treatments become available so young ladies with endometriosis can stop the progression of their disease and then try for a baby when they are ready.

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Egg freezing is very new, and has very poor outcomes - whether private or NHS. Only a few babies have been born in the UK with egg freezing. I think people get this confused with embryo freezing which is done as part of IVF, which has far higher success. I don't think it's even an issue of NHS backing, it's an issue of improving results before people can rely on freezing as a viable option.

Here is part of an article from the HFEA.

"The use of frozen eggs in treatment is a relatively new development. Up to December 2012, only 20 babies have been born in the UK after treatment using patients’ own frozen eggs (although more have been born from donor eggs).

Eggs do not respond as well as embryos to freezing, and generally the resulting success rate is not as high, although this will vary from clinic to clinic. However, vitrification (a new method for egg storage) has recently been shown to improve the chance of eggs surviving the freeze-thaw process and therefore increase the success rate

Records show that up to December 2012 around 18,000 eggs have been stored in the UK for patients' own use. Around 580 embryos from stored eggs have been created. These embryos were transferred to women in around 160 cycles, which resulted in around 20 live births. These figures are for patients using their own eggs, both eggs which have been stored using slow freezing and vitrification methods."

Only she can decide when to have children. Personally, I wish I did it years ago because now I'm nearly 39 and childless - and it's affected me massively.

If she has the money, and wants to risk egg freezing, then maybe its worth a try - she could be one of the lucky few. I wish I hadn't been so influenced by money, career, others peoples views - as nothing is as important (to me and most people) as creating a family. I think this is why the Doctor is telling her this.


I'm glad I read your reply this has been weighting on my mind as my doc has advised me to freeze my egg as I'm not wanting kids yet but time is no longer on my side with endo having read the above freezing eggs

sounds like a complete risk I have not yet come across this information until today. Decision making time for me. We just feel like we have not lived our lives yet!!

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No I don't think this should be paid for by the NHS.

It is lifestyle choice not a right and not a medical essential.

She has the option to have a pregnancy now- or risk it and see what happens in the future in terms of technology and her own health.

And if she is not ready now- that's understandable, but it doesn't mean the NHS should pull out all the stops at NHS expense on the offchance she may one day be in a financially stable position, with a committed partner and wanting to start a family.

That too many never happen.

If by fate she does meet someone, and has the security of home and job etc to finance bringing up junior and raising it, then at that time she should see what her options are regarding IVF type proceedure if she needs them. That would be a choice she makes.

It is not an essential part of any womans life to be a mum at all costs.

No way should it be either.

It is a lifestyle choice for those who are able - dare I say it luxury blessing, a bonus, if it does come about.

If she wants to freeze her eggs then it has to be at her own expense - she could leave them where they are, and take all steps to preserve her fertility and health in the mean time and give her own body the best chance of being a free and safe store for the eggs.

That's my view on this controvertial topic.

When I was a kid - we hadn't even had the worlds 1st IVF baby by then, and look how far technology has already advanced. Who's to say where technology will be in 5 years or 15 years from now.

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Thank you ladies, your views on this subject are most welcome. My personal view is that NHS funding would be better put to use in research into finding a cure and training for better medical care for sufferers but it's easy for me to say that when I am lucky enough to have children. I like to remain open minded and see things from all sides x


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