Freezing ones eggs at the age of over 40 is not a too good idea. This is because the odds of a future pregnancy are very slim, says UK fertility regulator the HFEA.
Fertility declines with age, so the optimum time for egg freezing is before a woman turns 35, it says.
Yet data shows that the most common age at which women are treated is 38, with many freezing eggs into their 40s.
Women can only get egg freezing if it is for medical reasons, such as needing a cancer treatment which may cause them later fertility problems.
Private clinics also offer it to women who want it for social reasons, like delaying starting a family because they haven’t met the right partner yet.
In 2016, 80% of the 1,310 freezing procedures carried out were done in private clinics,
Around 890 of all the treatments were for women aged 35 and over, compared with 419 treatments for women younger than this.
The HFEA says it is not clear why patients of this age are freezing eggs. Most women freezing eggs using NHS funding were aged below 35, with 89% below 38.
It says women must be given clear information about the risks, costs and likely success rates of egg freezing, which is becoming an increasingly popular “fertility insurance” back-up plan.