- Advice & Education
- Community Support
- International Family Equality
- Legal & Financial
- News & Politics
- Travel & Vacations
The first baby to be born from 'Flash frozen' eggs is set to change the future of fertility treatment for British women.
Olivia Bate’s birth will give hope to hundreds of women who need to freeze their eggs for future fertility treatment. For Olivia is the UK’s first baby to be born from an egg that was flash frozen – frozen in less than 60 seconds. Months later the egg was thawed, fertilised and placed in her mother Karen Bateman’s womb.
Experts say the technique gives women the chance to have a child at 50 with no greater chance of miscarriage or Down’s syndrome than they had at 30. The chances of a successful pregnancy following thawing from ‘vitrified’ – or flash frozen – eggs increase dramatically, they explained. With normal freezing techniques, which takes about two hours, 65 per cent of eggs survive the thawing process. With vitrification this rises to 95 per cent.
Gillian Lockwood, of Midland Fertility Services, who carried out the treatment, said: ‘Her birth gives hope to the many young women who want to preserve their fertility before they have life-saving cancer treatment – and also to those women who know that they want to be mothers one day, but can’t try for a baby now.
‘Because so many more eggs survive this thawing process, it means that women can have just one cycle of treatment and get enough eggs to freeze, instead of having to have several treatment cycles. ‘It means that many more women will be able to have this opportunity, which will change the course of fertility treatment in the UK and the way that women look at their lives.’
Women in their early 30s currently have a narrow window of opportunity to become pregnant before the quality of their eggs decline. But Dr Lockwood added: ‘Vitrification will be as influential for women as the contraceptive pill. They will no longer have to worry about the narrow window.
‘If they freeze their eggs at 30, then those eggs will stay that age for ever, so they can have a baby even at 50 with no greater chance of miscarriage or Down’s syndrome than they had at 30.’ Olivia’s parents, Carl Bate and Miss Bateman, who live in Wolverhampton, started trying for a family in 2002. But Karen, 36, a chemist dispenser, had been diagnosed with endometriosis and doctors warned she may not be able to conceive. But they refused to give up hope and in 2009, the couple began a course of IVF treatment. Karen managed to produce 17 eggs, but only one viable embryo developed and the treatment failed. http://www.proudparenting.com/node/add/blog
To read more go to http://bit.ly/dFA22l