Women launch legal challenge to ten-year egg storage limit
It was recently announced that a group of women with eggs in frozen storage are launching a legal challenge against the ten-year limit on preserving frozen eggs.
The limit was introduced in the UK’s Human Fertilization and Embryology Act of 1990, at a time when slow-freezing methods were not providing comprehensively good survival rates and, it was thought, a 10-year window would be adequate for most women considering oocyte cryopreservation.
Since then, advances in vitrification mean that survival rates for frozen eggs are often above 95%, making the 10-year limit seem increasingly arbitrary. The women bringing the challenge argue that it makes little sense given these advances, and have been advised that the limit may breach their human right to a private and family life.
These women were some of the first to undergo egg-freezing using the now-standard vitrification technique, and like many other women in their situation, face the additional burden of a “ticking clock” before the storage limit expires, and their eggs will be destroyed.
While some women will explore alternatives, such as transporting their eggs to an overseas destination or having them fertilized with donor sperm and then stored as embryos, many do not wish to do this.
If you would like to contribute towards the campaign, the crowdfunding page is here.