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Few women return to their frozen eggs, European study suggests

HFEA respond to a study led by the Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel (Belgium) into the number of patients who return to use their frozen eggs.

A study shows that less than a third of women who froze their eggs returned to use them and of those that did return, only half used their frozen eggs in treatment.

This Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel-led study was presented at The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) annual meeting, which started today. This conference provides a platform for medical professionals and researchers to come together to share and promote the latest research in reproductive science and medicine as well as the treatment of infertility.

In response to this study, Clare Ettinghausen, Director of Strategy & Corporate Affairs, Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA), said: “Egg freezing is one of the fastest growing fertility treatments in the UK increasing from 373 cycles in 2011 to 4,215 in 2021. However, as researchers have shown in Belgium, we know that very few patients come back to use their eggs in the UK too.

“While egg freezing is becoming a popular choice, it’s not an insurance policy that can guarantee a baby in the future. Clinics have a responsibility to ensure anyone using fertility services understand the optimum age for freezing, the success rates as well as the risks.”


Review date: 26 June 2025