Image: ART in ART by Gina Glover for Guy's and St Thomas' Charity

Image: ART in ART by Gina Glover for Guy's and St Thomas' Charity

In developing Timeless we learned a lot about egg freezing – a medical procedure where a number of your eggs are extracted from your ovaries and frozen for use in the future.

Whilst egg freezing has been offered to women facing fertility-threatening medical treatments such as chemotherapy for some years, freezing for elective reasons has only been offered in clinics in the past few years - since the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) announced in January 2013 that the practice was no longer “experimental”. Despite the ASRM also warning against using egg freezing “for the sole purpose of circumnavigating reproductive ageing in healthy women” due to a lack of sufficient data, the procedure has been gaining popularity among women wanting to preserve their fertility.

There is very little data on the success rates of egg freezing, and what’s available is complicated to decipher, however should you be interested here are some of the best reports and articles we came across in our research:

Mature oocyte cryopreservation: a guideline 
Egg freezing and egg banking: empowerment and alienation in assisted reproduction
Six years' experience in ovum donation using vitrified oocytes

 

We also discovered a lot of research from social scientists on motherhood, fertility, assisted reproduction, and the decision-making that we as women are faced with. Here are some of the most interesting ones:

The effects of motherhood timing on career path 
Childless women’s knowledge of fertility and assisted human reproduction: identifying the gaps 
Factors Influencing Women’s Decisions About Timing of Motherhood

 

During this project we worked with an Advisory Board of experts from the medical and social sciences. We learned a lot from our advisors, and from their writing on this subject:

Papers by Emily Jackson, professor of Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science, can be found here
Articles by Dr Yacoub Khalaf, Director of the Assisted Conception Unit, Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital, can be found here and here 
Weekly newsletters from Bionews, edited by Sarah Norcross, Director of The Progress Educational Trust can be found here