What’s your chance of having a baby from frozen eggs?

Feb 2021 |
Fertility treatment
Woman researching


Egg freezing is on the rise. The latest data from the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority shows 4,048 women had eggs in storage in Victoria at the end of 2019-20 – a 30 per cent increase from the previous year. 

The service is attractive for women who haven’t found the right partner or who want to have children later in life for other reasons. However, a recent study found IVF clinic websites across Australia were not publishing much detail about what women can expect from the process.  

So, what is the chance of having a baby with frozen eggs? There are three numbers that will largely determine your chance: 

1.     Your age when you freeze your eggs. 

2.     The number of eggs stored. 

3.     How many cycles you can afford. 

Here’s what we know about those numbers. 

Your age 

Egg quality decreases with age. So, the older you are, the more eggs you need to store to have a reasonable chance of having a baby from frozen eggs. But unfortunately the older you are, the less likely you are to produce many eggs with hormone stimulation (the medication used to coax eggs out of your ovaries). 

To help women decide if and when to freeze their eggs, American scientists developed a prediction model. This table shows the estimated number of eggs needed to be retrieved to have an 80 per cent chance of having a baby at different ages. 


The woman’s age at the time of egg freezing 

Number of eggs needed for 80% chance of baby 

35 years or less 













Egg numbers 

So, how many eggs can women expect from each hormone stimulation? This table is based on 2019 data from all clinics in Victoria and shows the average number of eggs collected per egg retrieval for women in different age groups. 


Age at egg retrieval 

Average number of eggs 

Less than 35 




40 or more 


It means women who freeze their eggs in their mid to late 30s will on average need at least two hormone stimulations (also known as cycles) to get the number of eggs that gives them an 80 per cent chance of having a baby when they use their eggs. And women aged 40 or older will on average need at least six hormone stimulations for the same chance.  


So, how much will that cost? Each egg retrieval process costs between $8,000 and $10,000 and unlike IVF, you don’t get any contribution from Medicare. Based on the data above, an average 35-year-old can expect to pay $16,000 - $20,000 and an average 40-year-old woman $48 - $60,000 to store enough eggs for an 80 per cent chance of a baby. 

The other thing to consider is that if you return to use those eggs, you will need to pay to thaw them and inseminate them to create embryos. That process will add thousands to the overall cost. 

The physical and emotional experience 

Egg freezing is not a quick transaction. It might knock you around physically and emotionally for a few weeks every time you do a cycle. 

It involves several steps. A course of hormone injections over a week or two is used to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. When they are mature, your doctor retrieves them during a short ultrasound guided procedure under light anaesthetic. They use tools to access the ovaries via the vagina. 

The retrieved eggs are stored in liquid nitrogen until you return to use them. At that time, they are thawed and inseminated with sperm from your partner or a donor. If healthy embryos develop, one (sometimes two) is transferred to the uterus and any remaining embryos can be frozen for later use.  

In every step there is a risk that some eggs are lost. Of the eggs that are retrieved, some may not be suitable for freezing, some may not survive the freezing and thawing processes, and some may not fertilise or develop into normal embryos. 

And then sadly, there is always a risk of it not working out. There’s no guarantee that any of the embryos transferred into the uterus will implant and result in pregnancy and some pregnancies will miscarry. 

There’s no doubt that egg freezing is an advance for women. It’s already helping some have a baby that they would have otherwise missed out on. But if you’re thinking of diving in, it’s worth understanding the numbers that will determine your chance of having a baby from frozen eggs. 

For more practical tips about pre-conception health visit the government-funded website


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