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HANX talks: Fertility

HANX talks: Fertility

Tue, Jan 22, 19 - Emma Holmes

We hosted our first HANX Talks Fertility last week, and it was a blast! For those of you who couldn’t make it down to our talk with expert Dr Kim Lawson, we thought we’d do a quick fire summary of the takeaway messages from the evening. Every woman’s cycle is different though the general pattern is consistent:

Part 1 of the cycle, from menstruation to ovulation :

  • Bleeding begins and lasts an average of three to five days. 
  • Hormones cause eggs in the ovaries to ripen.
  • The lining of the uterus thickens.
  • Additional hormones cause the most ripened egg to be released.

Part 2 of the cycle 

  • The egg travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus. 
  • If the egg is fertilised by sperm, it may attach to the lining of the uterus. 
  • This is the beginning of pregnancy. If there is no fertilisation, the egg cell breaks apart, hormone levels drop and the lining of the uterus to break down.
  • Bleeding occurs, and another cycle begins.

Thinking about having a baby? In a nutshell, the things you need to consider are:

1. Lifestyle; weight, exercise, diet, existing diseases or infections
2. Age; the optimum age for a women to conceive is 25- 35 yrs)
3. Sexual Activity: How many times you have sex and at what point in the women’s cycle you’re having sex
4. Anatomical anomalies
5. Hormones and any abnormalities with these

Feeling baffled by Egg Freezing? 

  • The process of egg collection cycle can cost up to £5,000+
  • The cycle will aim to extract 15 eggs.
  • You can store your eggs for ten years, and it will cost you £300 each year.
  • The most important thing is the age at which the egg is frozen, the optimum time to freeze your eggs is in your late twenties, early thirties. 40 year old you is better off having a baby using the egg that 32 year old you froze. 
  • Even if you freeze your eggs at the right time, the process doesn't guarantee a pregnancy.

The truth is not many women go back to use their own eggs.

Since it all started there have been around 2,000 babies born in the world using frozen eggs

Despite the perception that freezing eggs is the new normal, we’re still seeing egg freezing on a very small scale, in 2016 (the year we have the most amount of analysed data for) :

  • Under 1,300 women went through the process of freezing eggs for various reasons including social or medical.
  • 80% of the 1,300 froze eggs for social reasons which is just over 1,000 women.
  • 500 women of those went back to thaw the eggs out and use them in treatment cycles. 
  • Of that 500 women only 1/3 froze for social reasons.
  • In 2019 159 babies born to women with frozen eggs.
  • Only 39 of those were born for social reasons. 

Want to hear some good news? 

Over 80% of couples in the general population will conceive within one year if:

  • The woman is under 40 years old
  • They do not use contraception
  • They have regular intercourse (every 2-3 days)

Of those who do not conceive in the first year, about half will do so in the second year - that means that 90% of couples will conceive within two years.