French women are having children later in life, making conception more difficult as fertility diminishes with age. Egg freezing, a procedure to counter the problem, is illegal in France – but a new bioethics law looks set to legalise it. In the meantime, women go to Spain, or find French doctors willing to bend the rules.
Doctors in France are increasingly willing to freeze the eggs of patients suffering from endometriosis. But what about those who have no obvious medical problem, women who are worried they are getting too old to conceive naturally?
The average age for a first pregnancy in France is 28.5 years old, up from 24 years old in the 1970s. And many first pregnancies happen when a woman is in her 30s.
The bioethics law currently making its way through the French legislature, would legalise egg freezing for women, regardless of their medical condition.
Since 2011, the option has been available for those who have serious medical problems affecting fertility, like radiation treatments for cancer.