What is egg freezing, and why is it controversial?

A panel of experts will discuss egg freezing at Wellbeing of Women’s next webinar on Tuesday 10th November, but what is there to debate?

by Wellbeing of Women | 6th Nov 2020

Back to news

Sign up to Putting all your (frozen) eggs in one basket? The truth of social egg freezing on Tuesday 10th of November here.

What is egg freezing?

Egg freezing is a way of preserving a woman’s fertility so she can try to start a family at a later date.

It involves taking drugs to boost egg production and help them mature, then having those eggs collected while you are under general anaesthetic. They are then frozen.

Freezing eggs doesn’t guarantee that you will be able to have children.

Why might a woman freeze her eggs?

A woman may decide to freeze her eggs if she wants to start a family but is not ready to yet.

She might want to do this for any number of reasons, such as not having met the right partner or family or career commitments.

Is it available on the NHS?

No, apart from in specific cases when you are having medical treatment which could affect your fertility.

It can cost around £3,500 to get it done privately or it is sometimes offered as an benefit by employers.

Why is it controversial?

People worry that this puts pressure on women to pay for egg freezing in order to safeguard their careers, instead of improving standards for working mothers.

There are also concerns that this cost could worsen unequal access to fertility care between women who can afford it and those who can't.

Can eggs be kept frozen forever?

At the moment, you can only legally store your eggs for 10 years – but some groups and healthcare organisations argue that this limit is unnecessary and should be extended.

Why is egg freezing a particularly hot topic at the moment?

As we don’t long how long the COVID-19 pandemic will carry on for, many women are worried about their fertility declining.

Those that have frozen their eggs are also worried their 10-year storage limit will expire during this time.

How can I find out more?

At ‘Putting your (frozen) eggs in one basket? The truth of social egg freezing’ a panel of expert healthcare professionals, campaigners and journalists will discuss and debate the facts, challenges and legal and ethical implications of egg freezing.

If you want to be at the centre of one of the biggest debates in women’s reproductive health right now, sign up now and listen in on the conversation.

Sign up to Putting all your (frozen) eggs in one basket? The truth of social egg freezing on Tuesday 10th of November here.