Egg freezing in the UK

Bioethics Briefing Note

Published 30/09/2020

Egg freezing in the UK
Women at computer smaller

Research gaps

Research questions that remain partly, wholly, or unanswered include:

  • Do women know EF success is age-dependent?
  • What are the experiences of women who return to use their eggs?
  • Why do some women choose not to use their eggs?
  • What are the experiences of trans and non-binary people who freeze eggs?
  • How do children born from EF fare long-term (including psychologically)?
  • Why do some women find out about SEF but decide against it?

The future of egg freezing

The outcome of the current Government consultation on storage limits will strongly influence the future of EF/SEF. If the limit is increased, it could lead to women making different decisions about SEF, including, for example, the age at which they decide to freeze. Whether SEF as an employment benefit in the UK takes more of a foothold may also change practice and SEF prevalence.

Technological developments that could influence the future of EF/SEF include whether ovarian tissue freezing becomes an alternative to SEF; if stem cell technology advances so that such cells can be developed into eggs and offer an alternative to EF; and how artificial intelligence (AI) will influence EF – including whether it can give women a better indication of their chances of success than currently possible.

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