Experts Discuss: ‘Social Egg Freezing’ – Does It Alleviate or Increase the Pressure Among Women to Have a Baby Early?
A panel of leading fertility experts discuss fertility preservation considerations for women on their fertility journey
VIENNA, June 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Experts have gathered at a Gedeon Richter-sponsored panel discussion to debate the pressure paradox of egg freezing, a procedure which is on the rise in Europe.1 In the EU, the average age of women having their first child is estimated to be 29, which has been steadily increasing.2 Focussing on common themes among women in their twenties and thirties, the panel identified:
- Just like the contraceptive pill allows women to prevent pregnancy, now egg freezing provides the opportunity for women to try for their own children at a later date, when the time is right for them
- The majority of women delay having children because they have not met the right partner yet, or their current partners are not yet ready
- Women are also waiting too long for the ‘ideal moment’ to try for children, for example when they are in a good financial position, or have achieved success in their career. In fact, the ideal timeframe is between 30-35 years of age
- There is a need to provide women with individualised information on their fertility window at an earlier age as part of general education in schools, so that they can make informed decisions and have realistic expectations from the outset
“I want to ensure that everyone who wants children, has children. Globally women are delaying starting a family, as they pursue higher education, careers and exciting lifestyles, but also because in some cases they cannot find a partner who is ready,” said Joyce Harper, Professor of Reproductive Science, Head of Research Department of Reproductive Health, IfWH Director of Education, Head of Reproductive Science Group, UCL Institute for Women’s Health. “A woman’s fertility declines with age, significantly so in their mid-thirties. It is essential that we educate women so they can be fully informed about their reproductive options, and support them in making the best decision for themselves and their future family plans.”
Factors such as the pursuit of further education, building a career and changes in relationship and cohabitation have been noted as possibilities for the age increase.3 Gedeon Richter is proud to champion discussions among women about fertility preservation through their ‘Be ready, whenever you’re ready’ campaign. Launched in 2018, the campaign seeks to raise awareness among women about the possibility of freezing their eggs and to remove any misconceptions to help women make an informed choice.
The panel was facilitated by Sarah Jarvis, UK medical broadcaster and General Practitioner (GP) on Sunday 23 June in Vienna, Austria, where the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) Annual Meeting 2019 also takes place.
“Finding the right information about female fertility can be challenging at a time where mainstream media can blur the lines between reality and celebrity privilege when reflecting the possibility of conceiving later,” said Sarah Jarvis, UK medical broadcaster and GP. “The ‘Be ready, whenever you’re ready’ campaign provides comprehensive and balanced information on fertility preservation options, filling a much needed void in a crowded space full of misinformation.”
To find out more about the campaign please visit www.fertilitychoices.com.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
About ‘Be ready, whenever you’re ready’
The ‘Be ready, whenever you’re ready’ campaign provides factual answers to women considering egg freezing. It aims to inform and educate women of a reproductive age across Europe including information on the process, financial elements and eligibility factors (age and local laws). It has to date launched in three countries; Belgium (Dutch and French) Italy and Spain. The campaign will continue to launch in other European countries.
The campaign provides access to:
- An online educational website, www.FertilityChoices.com, with a comprehensive frequently asked questions section regarding fertility preservation and an animated video which shows how the egg freezing process works
- Letters To My Future Self, a selection of stories representing real womens’ experiences, journeys and choices to move forward with egg freezing
- Communities to exchange experiences, discuss questions, and find factual information on egg freezing through social media (Facebook (@bereadywheneveryouareready) and Instagram (@be_ready_fertility))
The campaign is not currently in conjunction or affiliated with any patient group, local authority or stakeholder. However, as the campaign continues to evolve, Gedeon Richter aims to expand our network of partners, to continue to raise awareness and understanding among women of a reproductive age about their future fertility options.
About the panel discussion
- Sunday 23 June: The pressure paradox: Can egg freezing tune out the tick tock of the biological clock?
The panel discussion featured the following international experts:
- Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP, trainer and fellow of The Royal College of General Practitioners. Dr Jarvis is also a medical writer and broadcaster, United Kingdom (facilitator)
- Dr Elisa Gil Arribas, Associate Professor and Gynaecologist at IVI RMA Zaragoza, Spain (speaker)
- Professor Joyce Harper, Professor of Reproductive Science, Head of Research Department of Reproductive Health, IfWH Director of Education, Head of Reproductive Science Group, UCL Institute for Women’s Health, United Kingdom (speaker)
- Valérie Blanchet, midwife, HUPC, Hôpital Cochin Paris, France (speaker)
- Dr Julie Nekkebroeck, Psychologist, UZ Brussel Centre for Reproductive Medicine, Belgium (speaker)
About GEDEON RICHTER
Gedeon Richter Plc. (www.richter.hu), is a major pharmaceutical company with a product portfolio covering many important therapeutic areas, including Women’s Healthcare, Central Nervous System and Cardiovascular areas. With its widely acknowledged steroid chemistry expertise, Gedeon Richter is a significant player in the Women’s Healthcare field worldwide.
For more information, please visit the GEDEON RICHTER website: www.richter.hu
- C Argyle, J Harper, et al. Oocyte cryopreservation: where are we now? Hum Reprod Update. 2016; Jun;22(4):440-9.
- Eurostat. Mean age of women at the birth of first child. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/tgm/table.do?tab=table&init=1&language=en&pcode=tps00017&plugin=1. Last accessed 04/06/18.
- M Mills, et al. Why do people postpone parenthood? Reasons and social policy incentives. Hum Reprod Upd. 2011; 17(6): 848–860.
For further information, please contact:
Zsuzsa Beke: +36 1 431 4888
Vilma Durante: +41 22 884 0394
SOURCE Gedeon Richter