The British Fertility Society considers that the 10-year storage limit for gametes – eggs or sperm – frozen for elective fertility preservation is unfair and penalises individuals who make the decision to preserve their fertility in their 20s. We support the Progress Educational Trust’s campaign to extend the limit.
Technological and social advances mean that, in certain circumstances, individuals may choose to try to preserve fertility in their early 20s for the best chances of parenthood later in life. However, it is entirely possible that they may not be ready to use their frozen eggs or sperm by their early 30s. Demographic trends suggest that the age of first childbirth is getting later, and we are now at the point where more babies are born to mothers over 35 than to those under 25.
So what is someone who froze gametes at, say 22, supposed to do at 32? Their only choices are to destroy the stored material or become a parent whether they are ready or not. Of course they can wait and take their chances on natural conception but women’s fertility declines rapidly after 35 and there is increasing evidence that men face a reduction in their fertility after 45.
As technology widens the choices we have about our fertility, and social change allows new conversations about how and when we become parents, policy and legislation must keep pace.
Please sign the petition to extend the 10-year storage limit for elective gamete freezing: https://tinyurl.com/extendthelimit