Female

Oocyte freezing & Embryo freezing

What is fertility preservation?

  • Fertility preservation is the process of saving or protecting eggs, sperms, embryos or ovarian reproductive tissue so that a person can use them to have biological children in the future.
  • Having children may not be your priority right now, but it can become important for some of you later.

Why do I have to store eggs or embryos?

You are born with all the eggs you have for life. The number is getting smaller when you become older.Some cancer treatment can damage your eggs and affect your ability to have children.

You may be able to have your own children with the help of fertility treatment in the future if you freeze eggs or embryos before receiving cancer treatment.

Which method should I choose?

Egg freezing
Embryo freezing
Ovarian tissue freezing
Gonadotrophin releasing hormone agonists
Surgery to change the position of the ovaries

Comparing the different methods of fertility preservation

Oocyte freezing Embryo freezing Gonadotrophin releasing hormone agonists Ovarian tissue freezing
Time required 10-14 days 10-14 days 1-2 weeks before the first chemotherapy and continue until treatment is completed Within days if facilities are available
Price ~HKD $15,000-20,000 ~HKD $15,000-20,000 Several thousands N/A
Medical evidence Sufficient evidence
Mature technique
Sufficient evidence
Mature technique
Insufficient evidence Sufficient evidence
Immature technique
Flexibility Flexible Legally married Flexible Flexible

Not all women starting cancer treatment will need to consider these options. The decision of whether to pursue fertility is a personal one. You may refer to the flowchart for further information that may help your decision.

Can I request to see a female doctor instead?

Do not hesitate to tell us if you feel more comfortable seeing a female doctor!

How is the procedure of ovarian stimulation and egg collection done?

Pre-treatment evaluation

Ovarian stimulation

Egg collection

Freezing of eggs or embryos

IVF

Please refer to here.

What will happen at the fertility clinic?

You will meet our fertility specialist and be asked about your medical history.

If you decide to freeze your eggs, you (and your parents if you are younger than 18 years old) will sign the consent.

Transvaginal ultrasound scan will be arranged prior to the start of ovarian stimulation

How can I use the frozen eggs to make babies in the future?

Your husband and you can be referred to a fertility clinic when you have plans for babies. This is what will happen:

Be legally married before you undergo fertility treatment
We will thaw your eggs, which will be fertilized with your husband’s sperms in the laboratory using a technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) i.e. injection of a single sperm into each mature egg
Embryo formed will be replaced to your womb. You may be required to take hormones to prepare your womb if you no longer have regular periods.
You will become pregnant if it is successful.

It is not advisable to conceive a baby too soon after completing cancer treatment because of the possibility of cancer recurrence and effects of chemotherapy on sperms and eggs. You should talk to your oncologist.

How long can I store my frozen eggs in the laboratory?

  • According to Code of Practice on Reproductive Technology & Embryo Research issued by the Council on Human Reproductive Technology in Hong Kong, you can freeze your eggs until you are 55 years old or for 10 years, whichever is later. You can specify an age limit lower than 55 or a maximum period of shorter than 10 years.
  • The contract needs to be renewed every two years.
  • The eggs will be discarded if you fail to renew the contract.

Can I terminate the storage contract?

Yes, you can inform the centre anytime if you do not want to continue with the storage of frozen eggs.

How much does this service cost?

You have to pay for storage every two years.

How do I arrange the egg freezing service?

  • You can obtain a referral letter to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Queen Mary Hospital from your cancer doctor. Please fax the referral letter to 22554842.
  • We will try to arrange an appointment within one week.