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Freezing technology

Alice Mann wishes she’d known the odds from the start. The marketing consultant was 36, single and heartbroken after the end of a two-year relationship when she read a magazine article about freezing her eggs, a process which allows women to preserve them to use in IVF at a later date. She knew she wanted children, so spending £14,000 on the procedure felt like a worthwhile (albeit expensive) insurance policy, a way of buying some “breathing space” in the hope that she’d meet someone new.  

It came as a shock, then, still single at 40 and mid-way through an attempt to fertilise her frozen eggs with donor sperm, when she received a call from the clinic. Of the seven eggs they’d defrosted, only two fertilised and both were abnormal, so there were no embryos left.  

“I was utterly floored by the news and felt angry; resentful at the universe,” says Mann, now 43 and undergoing IVF with a new partner. “Tears welled in my eyes because I thought the worst-case scenario would be one slightly crappy... see more