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Chapter 5 - Fertility Preservation for “Social” Reasons

from Section 4 - Rethinking and Redefining “Family Planning” for the Twenty-First Century

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 September 2022

Dimitrios S. Nikolaou
Affiliation:
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London
David B. Seifer
Affiliation:
Yale Reproductive Medicine, New Haven, CT
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Summary

Egg freezing was initially introduced as a fertility preservation measure in women without a male partner who were about to undergo gonadotoxic treatments. The use of oocyte cryopreservation for social reasons has been an increasingly popular strategy for women to preserve their fertility potential, a term most referred to as ‘social egg freezing’ (SEF). As well as for career progression or waiting until they are financially more secure, some women may be single, or may decide to egg freeze to relieve pressure on a relationship, until they decide they are ready to have children with their partner. Upon introduction, success rates with SEF were low due to poor oocyte survival rates. With the advent of oocyte vitrification techniques, assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures using frozen oocytes have shown a similar live birth rate (LBR) to those using fresh oocytes. Due to this growing evidence for the efficacy of egg freezing, both the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) changed their stances and no longer consider oocyte freezing to be an experimental technique.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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