Some women ‘regret electing to freeze their eggs’

One in six women who choose to bank their eggs in case they cannot conceive later in life feels regret about the procedure.

This is according to a new study by the University of California - San Francisco (UCSF), US.

The scientists behind the research said they do not yet fully understand the reasons why this is the case.

For the study, they surveyed women who underwent the procedure, known as elective oocyte cryopreservation, at UCSF between 2012 and 2016.

Although 89 per cent of women participating the study said they believed they would be happy they froze their eggs, even if they never used them to conceive a child, 49 per cent did not give a full endorsement of their decision.

For reasons the researchers are still investigating, most reported feeling mild regret, while 16 per cent had moderate to severe regret. The study only included women pursuing elective cryopreservation for non-medical indications, and did not include women pursuing this treatment because, for example, they were about to undergo chemotherapy following a cancer diagnosis.

On average, women took the survey roughly two years after undergoing the procedure. Just six per cent of the women surveyed had used their frozen eggs to try to conceive, so the researchers explained it was unlikely that those who expressed moderate to severe regret about the procedure did so because the technology had failed.

Dr Eleni Greenwood, clinical fellow in obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, said: “While most women expressed positive reactions of enhanced reproductive options after freezing eggs, we were surprised to discover that for a group of women it wasn't so simple - some even frankly regretted their choice.

“Although this study doesn't reveal all the reasons behind regret, this is a critical finding, and we have follow-up studies underway to better understand what women are going through. What is clear is that egg freezing is more than just your standard insurance transaction for many women.”ADNFCR-2094-ID-801846771-ADNFCR