The head of a fertility charity has welcomed comments from the UK ethics body on the ‘social’ egg freezing
Progress Educational Trust(PET) director Sarah Norcross has said the briefing report from the Nuffield Council of Bioethics(NCOB) is a ‘positive step’.
The charity has been running a campaign called #ExtendTheLimit, to change the ten-year limit on egg freezing and give women more reproductive choice.
The Government is considering proposals to extend the current ten-year limit for women freezing their eggs.
In light of this, the NCOB is calling for more data on egg freezing success to be presented in a clearer, accessible, and transparent way.
At present, research suggests women find this data difficult to understand
Frances Flinter, member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and Emeritus Professor of Clinical Genetics at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s vital for women thinking about freezing their eggs to be able to make informed choices.
“To do this, they need easy access to data on their chances of success across various stages of the process – from freezing and thawing eggs, to having a live birth.
“But patients need clinics to be frank about the process, and about what is known and unknown about egg freezing. This is especially important given egg freezing’s increasing popularity.”
Sarah Norcross, director of fertility campaign group, Progress Educational Trust, said: “We are delighted the UK’s leading ethics body, the NCOB, has given the green light to revising the 10-year storage limit for social egg freezing. This is another positive step forward in PET’s #ExtendTheLimit campaign to change the 10-year limit and give women a reproductive choice. Have your say and sign the petition at www.progress.org.uk/extendthelimit. With more women than ever choosing to freeze their eggs, it is time for the law to be changed.”
The report also highlighted developments in companies offering egg freezing as part of an employment package.
It states: “For some women, being offered egg freezing as an employee benefit could feel empowering and give a sense of being in more control over their reproductive future. For others, the offer might make them feel pressured to delay motherhood. If more employers consider providing this benefit, research needs to focus on women’s needs and their experiences of using such schemes.
The Nuffield Council also highlights that offering egg freezing as part of a benefits package is not the only option for employers to support employees’ reproductive choices. Improvements to family-friendly work environments, childcare subsidies, and family leave also play a pivotal role.
To read the full report, click here.
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