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Not a straightforward option

Egg freezing overview

We next meet Dr Helen O’Neill, a scientist and teaching fellow at UCL’s Institute for Women’s Health. She gives her views on egg freezing as a technology and the current societal pressures on women.

Helen starts by questioning the notion of egg freezing as an insurance policy. It can work well for some people, but what if it doesn’t work out. The current pregnancy statistics following egg freezing, which at best achieves a 50-60 per cent success rate, do not offer any kind of guarantee, a point raised by the fertility providers themselves.

In the second half of her interview, Helen discusses the practice of some companies, which offer egg freezing as an option to their female employees. According to some reports, as many as 1 in 20 technology companies in London currently offer egg freezing as a ‘perk’ to employees.

Helen suggests that there might be better ways in which companies could support women and couples with family planning, and that egg freezing is not the solution to a complex problem of balancing careers and family life.

Finally, Helen suggests that women would benefit from exploring all the options, getting as much information as possible and to make up their own minds about what’s best for them.

For discussion: What do you think about the practice of companies like Google and Facebook to offer egg freezing as an option for their female employees? Whatever your position, please give your reasons. How informed do you think young women and men are about their fertility?

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