People able to freeze embryos, sperm and eggs for up to 55 years

People who want to start a family will be able to freeze their eggs, sperm and embryos for up to 55 years in an overhaul of fertility rules intended to help prospective parents.

The existing 10-year limit on the length of time those planning to use in-vitro fertilisation can store the genetic materials needed is being scrapped, the government said on Monday.

Ministers said the change was needed because of the trend towards later parenthood and so that those choosing to undergo assisted reproduction do not feel pressurised to start treatment too soon.

“Prospective parents should not have to wrestle with time limits on their fertility choices, and this important change to storage timescales will give people more control over their future and eliminate the pressure that comes with knowing a decision has to be made within 10 years,” said James Bethell, the health minister responsible for innovation.

“People across the UK are starting families later in life and it is increasingly commonplace for people to choose to freeze their eggs, sperm and embryos to preserve fertility. There are myriad reasons for this, such as not being ready or able to start a family or having a medical condition.”

The 10-year storage limit will be replaced with a right for individuals or couples who freeze eggs, sperm or embryos to be asked every 10 years if they want to keep or dispose of them, up to a maximum of 55 years.

Read full article at: The Guardian