Egg freezing in France: how does it work?


Facebook and Apple have decided to offer egg freezing to their employees. One has included this option in the health coverage of its employees while the other has been putting it into practice since January 2015. The objective? Allow women to push back their desire for a child in order to focus on their professional development. By offering this possibility, the giants of Silicon Valley surely did not expect to trigger at such an outcry as far as France. And for good reason: the two companies reinforce a received idea still very topical: motherhood would be detrimental to the career. If we want to hope for what is socially considered a “good job”: we have to wait to have children. “ The debate is a medical, ethical debate, it is certainly not a debate for human resources directors », Then reacted the Minister of Health when the debate broke out in France, in 2014.

Who is entitled to the freezing of their oocytes in France?

The revision of bioethics laws in July 2021 broadens the right of access to egg freezing. Self-preservation of its gametes is therefore now authorized for men and women, apart from any medical reason. Previously, the process was strictly supervised and only authorized for women who had embarked on a course of ART, in the prevention of diseases such as severe endometriosis or medical treatments potentially dangerous for female fertility, such as chemotherapy, and and finally, for egg donors. Before 2011, only women who had already been mothers could donate their gametes, but today egg donation is also open to all women. On the other hand, donors, in the event that they cannot become a mother after having donated their eggs, can always freeze some of them. In addition, since 2011, the law allows the vitrification of oocytes, a very efficient process which allows ultra-rapid freezing of oocytes.

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However, Facebook and Apple will still not be able to act in France as they do in other countries since the legalization of the self-preservation of its gametes has been accompanied by a ban on employers or any other person with which the interested party is in a situation of economic dependence to offer the assumption of responsibility for the costs of self-preservation. The activity is also reserved for the moment to public and private non-profit health establishments. If the related acts the collection and removal of gametes are covered by Social Security, so the cost of conservation is not. Finally, an age limit is set.

Egg freezing, effective?

This method is now well mastered by doctors but it is necessary all the same to be aware that lhe birth rate after egg freezing does not reach 100%. To improve the chances of pregnancy, the National College of French Gynecologists and Obstetricians (CNGOF) believes that freezing should be done between 25 and 35 years. Beyond that, the fertility of women decreases, the quality of the eggs is lost, and as a result, the success rate of ART drops. If you freeze your eggs at 40 or later, you are less likely to become pregnant afterwards.

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