Clinic announces first Irish birth of baby conceived from frozen egg

Dublin woman gives birth to child after freezing eggs in first known Irish case

A baby conceived from frozen eggs has been born to a Dublin woman, in the first birth of its kind in Ireland, according to her fertility clinic.

The woman gave birth to the child this weekend after being implanted with eggs that had been frozen a number of years earlier.

The ReproMed clinic in Dublin said the birth demonstrates the viability of egg freezing as an option for women who wish to delay childbirth.

Senior clinical embryologist Declan Keane, the clinic’s director, said success rates for using frozen eggs have improved in recent years thanks to advances in treatment.

“Freezing has been around for 10 to 15 years, but the technology was initially poor, so it was used as a last-ditch attempt,” he told Newstalk.com.

“Around 95% of eggs will now survive the freezing process - it’s quite comparable with fresh eggs.”

While other licensed clinics have achieved two ongoing pregnancies from frozen eggs, the birth this weekend is the first known in Ireland.  

Egg freezing, though expensive, has become increasingly popular in the US and UK among professional women who are keen to delay motherhood but also concerned about declining fertility.

Medical reasons are also common: women with cancer may wish to freeze their eggs before undergoing chemotherapy, for example.

Patients undertaking the procedure are given fertility drugs to stimulate their ovaries to produce multiple eggs.  

The eggs are later retrieved and frozen in liquid nitrogen using a method known as vitrification.

They can be thawed and fertilised using ICSI, or intracytoplasmic sperm injection, once a woman feels ready to use them.

Successful embryos, if they develop, may then be transferred to the patient’s womb.

What should women be aware of before signing up to treatment?

“It’s an insurance policy - you’re freezing in the hope that eggs will survive - but we don’t know if they’ll be fertile until we put sperm with the eggs,” Dr Keane said.

“There’s a 50/50 chance of pregnancy. It’s not guaranteed.”