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Debate over egg freezing

Wednesday August 8th, 2018

The UK should be cautious about promoting the benefits of egg freezing as a way for women to retain fertility, experts say today.

In an article for BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology today (8 August), Dr Jara Ben Nagi from the Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health, London, UK, and colleagues point out that it can "extend the window of opportunity for single women to find the right partner and offer them hope when their fertility may be in decline".

They say the statistics show that a high rate of single women return to use their frozen eggs with in vitro fertilisation once they have found a suitable partner.

"Women should not feel pressured into a relationship because of their declining ovarian reserve," they argue.

But in the same journal Dr Timothy Bracewell-Milnes of Imperial College London, UK, and colleagues call for caution. They argue that the procedure does not guarantee success and there are high private treatment costs, as well as potential side-effects.

Young people need better education on the natural limits of female fertility, they say. They also call for women to be given "accurate and balanced information on the safety and likelihood of success of assisted reproductive technology."

Commenting on the debate, Professor Adam Balen of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, says: "Success rates for egg freezing have improved significantly in recent years. However, it must be stressed that egg freezing does not guarantee a baby in the future.

"Women should also be aware that in the UK the storage limit for eggs frozen for social reasons is currently limited to ten years."

Nagi, J. B. et al. Social egg freezing should be offered to single women approaching their late thirties FOR: Women should not suffer involuntary childlessness because they have not yet found a partner. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 8 August 2018

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1471-0528.15291/full

Bracewell-Milnes, T. et al. Social egg freezing should be offered to single women approaching their late thirties AGAINST: Women should be freezing their eggs earlier. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 8 August 2018

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1471-0528.15295/full

Tags: Childbirth and Pregnancy | Nursing & Midwifery | UK News | Women's Health & Gynaecology

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