A scientist has told how she is not ashamed she has frozen her eggs – and urges women in their 30s to consider taking the same step.
Dr Emily Grossman said egg freezing is allowing her to ‘sidestep her biological clock’ and give her a chance of motherhood when she is ready.
Dr Grossman, a television presenter and trained actress who has a double first from Cambridge University revealed her highly personal decision at the British Science Festival in Brighton.
Dr Grossman added: ‘I strongly believe that all women in their mid to late 30s should be made aware of the risks of waiting too long to try for a family, and what alternative options they have available to them – and, more importantly, that there’s no shame in freezing your eggs.
‘I think perhaps some women see egg freezing as admitting defeat – admitting that they haven’t managed to do it the natural way.
Dr Emily Grossman, a television presenter and trained actress who has a double first from Cambridge University, said egg freezing is allowing her to ‘sidestep her biological clock’ and give her a chance of motherhood when she is ready
‘Thanks to modern science we have the opportunity to take a look at our biological clocks and side-step them for long enough to give ourselves a chance of motherhood that otherwise might not have been possible.
‘I’m really proud of what I’ve done. Who knows – the sense of empowerment and relief that I feel, and the accompanying decrease in stress levels, might even make it easier to conceive naturally when the time is right!’
While egg freezing may offer another chance at motherhood, it is not foolproof.
The success rate for frozen eggs is just 15 per cent – and the cost of freezing eggs can be as high as £30,000.
A Daily Mail investigation earlier this year however found some fertility clinics have claimed the success rate is as high as 65 per cent – leading to accusations that they are peddling false hope.
However, Dr Grossman is undeterred.
She said: ‘I’m fully aware that the success rates for IVF from frozen eggs is quite low, so having this done absolutely doesn’t replace the urgency to conceive naturally at my age, but I really feel that it takes some of the pressure off.’
She added: ‘ When it comes to issues surrounding fertility, whether it’s the presence or absence of it, to providing information on alternative methods of child-bearing, or perhaps the decision to not have children at all, we believe that all options, opinions and experiences need to be talked about.
IVF CLINICS PEDDLING FALSE HOPE
Fertility clinics are giving desperate women false hope by exaggerating their success rates with frozen eggs.
An undercover reporter was told the chance of the delayed motherhood technique working was as high as 65 per cent.
However official figures showed only around 15 per cent of IVF cycles using frozen eggs are successful.
One doctor said freezing 15 to 20 eggs was an insurance policy. Yet the fertility watchdog says just one in 50 frozen eggs leads to a baby.
The watchdog – the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority – last night launched an urgent investigation into the findings.
IVF pioneer Lord Winston said giving women false information was an ‘outrage’.
This newspaper’s Investigations Unit revealed that fertility clinics were convincing women on low incomes to donate their eggs in return for cash or free fertility treatment. In further developments yesterday:
‘Too often is it assumed that all women can simply have children, but what about if you can’t, or you don’t want to right now?’
She said that she was inspired to take the step after attending a talk at the Cheltenham Science Festival two years ago called ‘The Fertility Time Bomb’ where fertility experts Dr Allan Pacey, Professor of Andrology at Sheffield University and Dr Gillian Lockwood, the medical director of warned how women’s fertility dropped from their late 30s and how the chances of miscarriage and genetic abnormalities rise, and increasingly many women were not able to have children at all.
Explaining why she took the step she said in a piece for online publication Brighton Girl: ‘From the age of about 36 the pressure I felt to have a child began to get really intense, along with the fear that I wouldn’t meet the right person in time.
‘Whilst a part of me really wanted to have kids, another part of me didn’t feel ready. I was very happy as I was – my career was taking off, and I hadn’t met anyone I wanted to start a family with yet. I was pretty certain that having kids was something I wanted to do at some point though, and I was scared that it would get too late and I’d lose the opportunity.
‘I was seeing friends in their early 40s desperate to have children and finding it really hard or even impossible to conceive, and others in their late 30s, blinded by the biological urge to procreate, becoming so desperate to have a child that they rushed into things too quickly with a new partner and ended up as a single parent.
‘I considered going it alone myself, and using a sperm donor as some of my single friends have done – but ideally it’s not how I want to do it. For me it feels really important to be able to take the time to find the right partner to bring a child into the world with. So when I reached 38, I decided to freeze my eggs.’
She said: ‘I’m really proud of what I’ve done. Who knows – the sense of empowerment and relief that I feel, and the accompanying decrease in stress levels, might even make it easier to conceive naturally when the time is right!’