A recent report indicates a growing trend of women choosing to freeze their eggs for future fertility preservation. The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) reported a significant increase in patients undergoing this procedure, with over 4,000 cases in 2021 compared to 2,500 in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic is believed to have influenced this rise as women became more aware of their reproductive options during lockdown. Sarah Norcross, director of the Progress Educational Trust fertility charity, suggests that limited social activities during lockdown may have prompted women to consider their fertile periods and explore reproductive choices. However, the report also reveals a decrease in women’s willingness to donate their eggs for others to use. The number of new egg donors in 2019 was approximately 1,500, showing a slight decline to slightly over 1,400 in 2021. An example is Helen Henry, who donated her eggs at age 34 when she decided to freeze them. Despite her initial guilt, she found comfort in knowing that her donation resulted in the birth of a child. Helen hopes to establish a connection with her genetic sibling in the future.

Vicky Pattison, an Essex TV presenter, recently froze her eggs because she wasn’t ready for motherhood. She fertilized three eggs with her partner’s sperm (20% chance of success) and retained three unfertilized eggs (10% chance). Vicky emphasizes the need for transparent information to make informed decisions. The HFEA emphasizes age’s impact on egg freezing success, particularly among women under 35. Consultant obstetrician and gynecologist Bassel Wattar stresses the importance of raising awareness about the procedure’s benefits and considerations and providing comprehensive support to individuals on their fertility journey.