Fertility experts have urged the government to overturn “discriminatory” fertility rules that require women who freeze their eggs to use them within 10 years.
Beyond this limit, clinics are compelled to destroy the eggs even if this goes against the woman’s wishes. The only exception is for women who are prematurely infertile.
During the past decade, thousands of women have paid to freeze their eggs, normally because they want children in the future but are not in a long-term relationship. However, an increasing number are having to decide between losing their chance of having a baby, or fertilising their eggs using donor sperm.
“It bears down very harshly on the growing numbers of women who enter their 30s, start to worry about not having a baby, freeze their eggs and then realise in their 40s that the eggs have reached their 10-year limit,” Lady Deech said. “The cost is extortionate and the psychological pressure is debilitating. They know the eggs are going to be destroyed if they don’t find a man.”
Campaigners say the law has not kept up with technological progress, including an egg-freezing technique called vitrification that allows eggs to be stored almost indefinitely without deteriorating. The technique was introduced widely a decade ago, prompting a steep increase in “social” egg-freezing, which means an increasing number of women are affected by the 10-year limit (The Guardian, 01 – 22 – 2018).
Read HERE our special report on social freezing with our medical and bioethical assessment.