Professor Geeta Nargund, clinical director of CREATE Fertility, is urging the UK government to allow women aged between 30 to 35 freeze their eggs for free
Speaking on BBC Radio 4 World at One show, Professor Nargund said it was a fact that women are delaying having children because they are not ready.
“More and more women would like to consider freezing their eggs, but they can’t afford it because it is a private procedure,” she says.
“Women who are coming in at the moment are women in their late 30s and early 40s. This is not ideal as the efficiency of their eggs is a lot lower. More older women are looking for donor eggs and this is not ideal for them. So this is a suggestion to the government. I am not saying the pot of money should come from the NHS, I am looking at it with the bigger picture.”
She said there was nothing better than natural conception, but those that want to postpone having children should be given help to freeze their eggs for future family plans.
She said this is for women who are not ready to start a family but wish to have children, not necessarily those with infertility
When asked whether she felt like an expensive luxury, she said yes.
“Many people think that it is an expensive luxury. I’m not suggesting this money comes from the NHS. But the actual money should come from several departments and given to the NHS to deliver this.”
Asked whether she felt we were heading for a fertility crisis, she agreed.
“Yes, I think we are if we don’t address fertility in the long term. If we look at the UN data by 2050 we know that the global population will go up, but Europe population is predicted to go down by 14 per cent.
“I think we need to look at addressing fertility and birth rates in the long term and not just look at it as an infertility issue. Younger eggs have higher success rates.”
When asked why the tax payer should subsidise what is seen as a lifestyle choice to delay having children, Professor Nargund disagreed
She said: “If you look at the data, the most common reason for delaying motherhood is absence of a suitable partner. There are some really good reasons why they might not be ready to have a family.
“There are significantly improved success rates with egg freezing and all I am saying is why don’t we start a discussion to help these women.”
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