In a week where a leading Consultant in Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine, Dr Luciano Nardo, declared all single women under 35 should freeze their eggs – new research has been published that asks why those women that have committed to the procedure have chosen to do so.
More than 800 women a year in the UK are now choosing to freeze their eggs, increasing dramatically from 2001 when only 29 women underwent the procedure – and it looks like a trend that is set to keep growing.
More than 800 women a year in the UK are now choosing to freeze their eggs.
So what are the driving factors for women deciding to have their eggs frozen?
Research, lead by Kylie Baldwin – Senior Lecturer at The Reproduction Research Group at De Montfort University, interviewed 31 women who had chosen to freeze their eggs for non-medical reasons. The results revealed that for all 31 women in the study, the primary reason given for choosing to freeze their eggs was not being able to find a suitable partner to father their child. This is contrary to the common held belief that women are freezing their eggs because they are too busy focusing on their careers, an opinion often shared in the media and reflected by the move certain companies have made, such as Facebook and Apple, to offer egg freezing as an employee perk.
Speaking at the British Science Festival in Swansea, Kylie Baldwin said of her findings:
“[women] turned to egg freezing not because they were engaging in other pursuits such as academic study or world travel but because they had not yet found a partner who they thought was the right one to father their child.”
“Many of the women I interviewed wanted to become mothers soon or had felt the desire to have a child for several years prior to freezing their eggs. However what had prevented them from becoming a mother was the lack of the right partner who they thought would be a good father.”
“The importance placed by women on finding the right male partner also committed to parenthood and performing the role of a ‘hands on father’ was crucial for the women in my research and it was the lack of THIS type of a partner which led many of the women to pursue egg freezing.”
This research backs up the findings of a report issued by HEFA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) earlier this year which found that ‘no male partner’ was the most common single reason given for those choosing to freeze their eggs when registering with a clinic in 2014.