83% of specialists from 13 countries were in favour of egg freezing for social reasons
On March 6, Barcelona hosted the second International Symposium on egg freezing for social reasons, a conference that brought together 320 healthcare professionals from 13 countries. The congress, organized by Eugin Clinic, addressed the latest developments in the field of egg freezing and various ethical issues arising from this technique were discussed.
According to the results of a survey conducted among all the attendees, 83% of the assembled experts defended egg freezing for social reasons, 15% supported it “with limits” and only 2% were against. As for sperm freezing for social reasons, 80% came out in favour.
Outstanding among the speeches given by those taking part in the symposium were those given by Prof. Guido Pennings, director of the Bioethics Institute Ghent (Belgium), and Dr. Elizabeth Fino, a member of the research team specialising in egg freezing from the New York Fertility Center.
Dr. Pennings defended egg freezing for social reasons, as there is no evidence that the children of older mothers present differences from other children. For her part, Dr. Fino said that social egg freezing is a veritable trend in the US and that more and more companies in the country are considering following in the footsteps of Apple and Facebook and funding egg-freezing treatment for their female employees.
Younger and younger
One of the conclusions of the conference was that women who decide to freeze their eggs for social reasons are getting younger. According to the data presented by Eugin, which is the result of the treatments carried out in the centre between 2011 and 2014, the age of the women who freeze their eggs has decreased in the last year, from 39 to 38.
Eugin clinic, which conducts one in three assisted reproduction treatments performed in Barcelona, experienced a noticeable increase in the number of egg freezing treatments in 2014, which grew by 60% compared to 2013.
The women who have frozen their eggs have high educational attainment levels – 96% have university-level qualifications – and the vast majority, 9 out of 10, do not have a partner. As for their profession, 20% are health professionals, mainly doctors, and 14% work in marketing or communication.
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