The Great Egg Freeze
Fi Glover takes a personal look at a growing trend - egg freezing offered as a corporate work benefit. She speaks to women who have done it, doctors and employers.
Fi Glover takes a personal look at a growing trend - egg freezing offered as a corporate work benefit. She speaks to women who have done it, as well as doctors and employers.
Freezing eggs seems the ultimate in planning a family and a career - and Fi Glover considered it when she was living in the US almost a decade ago. Back then it was still a niche technology. Now a growing number of companies, including Apple and Facebook, are offering it as a benefit and some UK tech companies are also discussing the option.
Fi speaks to women who have frozen their eggs - both privately and through a company scheme. She follows the experience of Brigitte Adams, a marketing executive who froze her eggs at 39 and is about to have one of them fertilized and implanted at 44. Brigitte explains how the marketing of egg freezing took the fear out of it, but she has words of warning for women considering this route. We also hear from a former employee who froze her eggs via the company's benefit scheme.
Professor Geeta Nargund is an expert in reproductive medicine and the Director of Europe's largest private fertility clinic. She explains why she views egg freezing as the second wave of emancipation for women - after the contraceptive pill.
However critics suggest that employer-funded egg freezing sends a clear message that the corporate preference is for women to delay childbearing. And Obstetrician Susan Bewley believes encouraging women to freeze their eggs is making a risky and unreliable option seem desirable and routine.
Producer Sarah Cuddon
A Testbed production for BBC Radio 4.