Brief: Frozen fertility

Women over 30 who have not yet met the man they would like to spend the rest of their lives with and have children before their fertility plummets can now freeze their eggs while waiting for "Mr Right" to come along. The peace of mind comes with a steep price tag: Extend Fertility provides the service for an initial 13 000 USD followed by a 500-USD annual storage fee. How does it work? Patients receive hormone injections to increase the number of eggs produced to about 12; the eggs are then extracted, treated with a cryoprotectant then submerged in a tank of liquid nitrogen. When required, the eggs can then be thawed, fertilized and implanted in the patient's womb. Up to 80% of eggs survive, and 20% pregnancy rates have been reported by the Infertility and IVF Center in Bologna, Italy.