- freely available
Laws 2014, 3(2), 282-300; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws3020282
2. Arguments and Criticism
2.1. Arguments over Benefits and Risks
2.1.1. Risks of Egg Retrieval and Cryopreservation Techniques
2.1.2. Risks of a Late Pregnancy
2.1.3. Benefits of SF
Conflicts of Interest
- Tomáš Sobotka. “Mutterschaft in fortgeschrittenem Alter: Eine überfällige ‘Revolution’? ” Journal für Generationengerechtigkeit 9 (2009): 63–68. (In German)[Google Scholar]
- European Commission. Demography Report 2010. Older, More Numerous and Diverse Europeans. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2011. [Google Scholar]
- Statistisches Bundesamt. “Lebenserwartung.” Available online: https://www.destatis.de/DE/ZahlenFakten/GesellschaftStaat/Bevoelkerung/Sterbefaelle/Tabellen/LebenserwartungBundeslaenderWeiblich.html (accessed on 10 March 2014).
- Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung. Die demografische Lage der Nation: Wie zukunftsfähig sind Deutschlands Regionen? München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 2006, pp. 32–35. (In German) [Google Scholar]
- Debra A. Gook. “History of oocyte cryopreservation.” Reproductive BioMedicine Online 23 (2011): 281–89. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Laura Rienzi, Stefania Romano, Laura Albricci, Roberto Maggiulli, Antonio Capalbo, Elena Baroni, Silvia Colamaria, Fabio Sapienza, and Filippo Ubaldi. “Embryo development of fresh ‘versus’ vitrified metaphase II oocytes after ICSI: A prospective randomized sibling-oocyte study.” Human Reproduction 25 (2009): 66–73. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Ana Cobo, Marcos Meseguer, José Remohi, and Antonio Pellicer. “Use of cryo-banked oocytes in an ovum donation programme: A prospective, randomized, controlled, clinical trial.” Human Reproduction 25 (2010): 2239–46. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- “Danish Artificial Fertilisation Act.” Available online: https://www.retsinformation.dk/print.aspx?id=10319&exp=1 (accessed on 12 March 2014) (only Danish version available).
- David H. Edgar, and Debra A. Gook. “A critical appraisal of cryopreservation (slow cooling versus vitrification) of human oocytes and embryos.” Human Reproduction Update 18 (2012): 536–54. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Nicole Noyes, Jeffrey Boldt, and Zsolt P. Nagy. “Oocyte cryopreservation: Is it time to remove its experimental label? ” Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics 27 (2010): 69–74. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Gary D. Smith, Paulo C. Serafini, Joyce Fioravanti, Isaac Yadid, Marcio Coslovsky, Pericles Hassun, José R. Alegretti, and Eduardo L. Motta. “Prospective randomized comparison of human oocyte cryopreservation with slow-rate freezing or vitrification.” Fertility and Sterility 94 (2010): 2088–95. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Mário Sousa, Mariana Cunha, Paulo Viana, Joaquina Silva, José T. Silva, Cristiano Oliveira, and Alberto Barros. “Outcomes of human blastocyst transfer after slow-freezing using sequential culture: A clinical report.” Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics 285 (2012): 1473–78. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Miguel Solé, Josep Santaló, Merce Boada, Elisabet Clua, Ignacio Rodríguez, Francisca. Martinez, Buenaventura Coroleu, Pedro N. Barri, and Anna Veiga. “How does vitrification affect oocyte viability in oocyte donation cycles? A prospective study to compare outcomes achieved with fresh versus vitrified sibling oocytes.” Human Reproduction 28 (2013): 2087–92. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Rubens Fadini, Mario Mignini Renzini, Mariabeatrice Dal Canto, Amalia Epis, Marilena Crippa, Ilaria Caliari, Claudio Brigante, and Giovanni Coticchio. “Oocyte in vitro maturation in normo-ovulatory women.” Fertility and Sterility 99 (2013): 1162–69. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Marcy Darnovsky. “Egg Freezing: Risks to Women and Children Unknown.” Biopolitical Times. 29 August 2011. Available online: http://www.biopoliticaltimes.org/article.php?id=5833 (accessed on 4 November 2013).
- Uta Bittner, and Oliver Müller. “Technisierung der Lebensführung: Zur ethischen Legitimität des Einfrierens von Eizellen bei gesunden Frauen als Instrument der Familienplanung.” In Jahrbuch für Wissenschaft und Ethik. Edited by Ludger Honnefelder and Dieter Sturma. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2010, pp. 23–45. (In German) [Google Scholar]
- DIR Deutsches IVF-Register. “Jahrbuch 2011.” Journal für Reproduktionsmedizin und Endokrinologie 9 (2012): 453–84. (In German)[Google Scholar]
- Giovanni Coticchio. “Vitrification may increase the rate of chromosome misalignment in the metaphase II spindle of human mature oocytes.” Reproductive BioMedicine Online 19 (2009): 29–34. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Rakesh K. Sharma, Ali Azeem, and Ashok Agarwal. “Spindle and Chromosomal Alterations in Metaphase II Oocytes.” Reproductive Sciences 20 (2013): 1293–301. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Ana Cobo, Juan A. Garcia-Velasco, Javier Domingo, José Remohí, and Antonio Pellicer. “Is vitrification of oocytes useful for fertility preservation for age-related fertility decline and in cancer patients? ” Fertility and Sterility 99 (2013): 1485–95. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Frank Nawroth, Ralf Dittrich, Markus Kupka, Barbara Lawrenz, Markus Montag, and Michael von Wolff. “Kryokonservierung von unbefruchteten Eizellen bei nichtmedizinischen Indikationen („social freezing”): Aktueller Stand und Stellungnahme des Netzwerkes FertiPROTEKT.” Frauenarzt 53 (2012): 528–33. (In German)[Google Scholar]
- Ana Cobo, and César Diaz. “Clinical application of oocyte vitrification: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” Fertility and Sterility 96 (2011): 277–85. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Monica Antinori. “Cryotop vitrification of human oocytes results in high survival rate and healthy deliveries.” Reproductive BioMedicine Online 14 (2007): 73–79. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Ana Cobo, Masashigue Kuwayama, Sonia Pérez, Amparo Ruiz, Antonio Pellicer, and José Remohí. “Comparison of concomitant outcome achieved with fresh and cryopreserved donor oocytes vitrified by the Cryotop method.” Fertility and Sterility 89 (2008): 1657–64. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Eric J. Forman, Li Xinying, Kathleen M. Ferry, Katherine Scott, Nathan R. Treff, and Richard T. Scott. “Oocyte vitrification does not increase the risk of embryonic aneuploidy or diminish the implantation potential of blastocysts created after intracytoplasmic sperm injection: A novel, paired randomized controlled trial using DNA fingerprinting.” Fertility and Sterility 98 (2012): 644–49. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- David E. Pegg. “The role of vitrification techniques of cryopreservation in reproductive medicine.” Human Fertility 8 (2005): 231–39. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Mohammad Ali. Khalili, Michela Maione, Maria Grazia Palmerini, Stefano Bianchi, Guido Macchiarelli, and Stefania Annarita Nottola. “Ultrastructure of human mature oocytes after vitrification.” European Journal of Histochemistry 56 (2012): 236–42. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- V. Y. K. Seet, S. Al-Samerria, Jesmine Wong, James Stanger, John L. Yovich, and Ghanim Almahbobi. “Optimising vitrification of human oocytes using multiple cryoprotectants and morphological and functional assessment.” Reproduction, Fertility and Development 25 (2013): 918–26. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Anais Berthelot-Ricou, Jeanne Perrin, Carole Di Giorgio, Michel de Meo, Alain Botta, and Blandine Courbiere. “Genotoxicity assessment of mouse oocytes by comet assay before vitrification and after warming with three vitrification protocols.” Fertility and Sterility 100 (2013): 882–88. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- James D. Benson, Carmen C. Chicone, and John K. Critser. “Analytical Optimal Controls for the State Constrained Addition and Removal of Cryoprotective Agents.” Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 74 (2012): 1516–30. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Andrzej Bielanski, and Gabor Vajta. “Risk of contamination of germplasm during cryopreservation and cryobanking in IVF units.” Human Reproduction 24 (2009): 2457–67. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- The Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and Practice Committee of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. “Ovarian tissue and oocyte cryopreservation.” Fertility and Sterility 90 (2008): 241–46. [Google Scholar]
- The Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and Practice Committee of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. “Essential elements of informed consent for elective oocyte cryopreservation: A Practice Committee opinion.” Fertility and Sterility 90 (2008): 134–35. [Google Scholar]
- Ilan Tur-Kaspa, Michael Gal, and Allan Horwitz. “Genetics and health of children born from cryopreserved oocytes.” Fertility and Sterility 88 (2007): S14, Paper presented at ASRM 63rd Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, USA, 13 to 17 October 2007. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Ri-Cheng Chian, Jack Y. Huang, Seang L. Tan, Elkin Lucena, Angela Saa, Alejandro Rojas, Luis Arturo Ruvalcaba Castellón, Martha Isolina García Amador, and Jorge Eduardo Montoya Sarmiento. “Obstetric and perinatal outcome in 200 infants conceived from vitrified oocytes.” Reproductive BioMedicine Online 16 (2008): 608–10. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Nicole Noyes. “Over 900 oocyte cryopreservation babies born with no apparent increase in congenital anomalies.” Reproductive BioMedicine Online 18 (2009): 769–76. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Matts Wikland, Thorir Hardarson, Torbjörn Hillensjo, Cecilia Westin, Göran Westlander, Margareta Wood, and Ulla-Britt Wennerholm. “Obstetric outcomes after transfer of vitrified blastocysts.” Human Reproduction 25 (2010): 1699–707. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Annette Queißer-Luft, and Jürgen Spranger. “Fehlbildungen bei Neugeborenen.” Deutsches Ärzteblatt 103 (2006): 2464–71. (In German)[Google Scholar]
- Florence Belva, Stefanie Henriet, Etienne van den Abbeel, Michel Camus, Paul Devroey, Josianna van der Elst, Inge Liebaers, Patrick Haentjens, and Maryse Bonduelle. “Neonatal outcome of 937 children born after transfer of cryopreserved embryos obtained by ICSI and IVF and comparison with outcome data of fresh ICSI and IVF cycles.” Human Reproduction 23 (2008): 2227–38. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- The Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and Practice Committee of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. “Mature oocyte cryopreservation: A guideline.” Fertility and Sterility 99 (2013): 37–43. [Google Scholar]
- Ingrid Gerhard, and Axel Feige, eds. Geburtshilfe integrativ: Konventionelle und komplementäre Therapie. Munich: Elsevier, 2005.
- Juan Balasch, and Eduard Gratacós. “Delayed childbearing.” Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology 24 (2012): 187–93. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Jane Cleary-Goldman, Fergal D. Malone, John Vidaver, Robert H. Ball, David A. Nyberg, Christine H. Comstock, George R. Saade, Keith A. Eddleman, Susan Klugman, Lorraine Dugoff, and et al. “Impact of Maternal Age on Obstetric Outcome.” Obstetrics & Gynecology 105 (2005): 983–90. [Google Scholar]
- Saralee Glasser, Aliza Segev-Zahav, Paige Fortinsky, Debby Gedal-Beer, Eyal Schiff, and Liat Lerner-Geva. “Primiparity at Very Advanced Maternal Age (≥45 years).” Fertility and Sterility 95 (2011): 2548–51. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Bo Jacobsson, Lars Ladfors, and Ian Milsom. “Advanced Maternal Age and Adverse Perinatal Outcome.” Obstetrics & Gynecology 104 (2004): 727–33. [Google Scholar]
- Louise C. Kenny, Tina Lavender, Roseanne McNamee, Sinéad M. O’Neill, Tracey Mills, Ali S. Khashan, and Qinghua Shi. “Advanced Maternal Age and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome: Evidence from a Large Contemporary Cohort.” PLoS ONE 8 (2013): e56583. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Petra Ritzinger, Joachim W. Dudenhausen, and Wolfgang Holzgreve. “Späte Mutterschaft und deren Risiken.” Journal für Reproduktionsmedizin und Endokrinologie 8 (2011): 112–22. (In German)[Google Scholar]
- Lone Schmidt, Tomáš Sobotka, Janne Gasseholm Bentzen, and A. Nyboe Andersen. “Demographic and medical consequences of the postponement of parenthood.” Human Reproduction Update 18 (2011): 29–43. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Yariv Yogev, Nir Melamed, Ron Bardin, Kinneret Tenenbaum-Gavish, Gadi Ben-Shitrit, and Avi Ben-Haroush. “Pregnancy outcome at extremely advanced maternal age.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 203 (2010): 558.e1–7. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Mordechai Dulitzki, David Soriano, Eyal Schiff, Angela Chetrit, Shlomo Mashiach, and Daniel S. Seidman. “Effect of Very Advanced Maternal Age on Pregnancy Outcome and Rate of Cesarean Delivery.” Obstetrics & Gynecology 92 (1998): 935–39. [Google Scholar]
- Alessandro Favilli, Silvia Pericoli, Marta M. Acanfora, Vittorio Bini, Di Renzo, Gian Carlo, and Sandro Gerli. “Pregnancy outcome in women aged 40 years or more.” Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine 25 (2012): 1260–63. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Richard J. Paulson, Robert Boostanfar, Peyman Saadat, Eliran Mor, David E. Tourgeman, Cristin C. Slater, Mary M. Francis, and John K. Jain. “Pregnancy in the Sixth Decade of Life: Obstetric Outcomes in Women of Advanced Reproductive Age.” Journal of the American Medical Association 288 (2002): 2320–23. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Mark V. Sauer, Richard J. Paulson, and Rogerio A. Lobo. “Oocyte donation to women of advanced reproductive age: Pregnancy results and obstetrical outcomes in patients 45 years and older.” Human Reproduction 11 (1996): 2540–43. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Brian T. Bateman, and Lynn L. Simpson. “Higher rate of stillbirth at the extremes of reproductive age: A large nationwide sample of deliveries in the United States.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 194 (2006): 840–45. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Ruth C. Fretts. “Etiology and prevention of stillbirth.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 193 (2005): 1923–35. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Ling Huang, Reg Sauve, Nick Birkett, Dean A. Fergusson, and Carl van Walraven. “Maternal age and risk of stillbirth: A systematic review.” Canadian Medical Association Journal 178 (2008): 165–72. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Robert M. Silver. “Fetal Death.” Obstetrics & Gynecology 109 (2007): 153–67. [Google Scholar]
- Frederik Peters. “Späte Mutterschaft als medizinischer Risikofaktor? Der Einfluss des Alters der Mutter auf das Risiko der Frühgeburt.” SOEPpapers at DIW Berlin 342 (2010): 1–49. (In German)[Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Shiri Shkedi-Rafid, and Yael Hashiloni-Dolev. “Egg freezing for non-medical uses: The lack of a relational approach to autonomy in the new Israeli policy and in academic discussion.” Journal of Medical Ethics 38 (2012): 154–57. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Guido Pennings. “Postmenopausal Women and the Right of Access to Oocyte Donation.” Journal of Applied Philosophy 18 (2001): 171–81. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Jennifer A. Parks. “On the Use of IVF by Post-menopausal Women.” Hypatia 14 (1999): 77–96. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Anna Smajdor. “The ethics of egg donation in the over fifties.” Menopause international 14 (2008): 173–77. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Anne Britt Vika Nilsen, Ulla Waldenström, Anna Hjelmsted, Svein Rasmussen, and Erica Schytt. “Characteristics of women who are pregnant with their first baby at an advanced age.” Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 91 (2012): 353–62. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Ilona Renner, and Anneliese Hendel-Kramer. “Schwangere Frauen ab 35. Eine Zielgruppe mit besonderem Unterstützungsbedarf? ” BZgA FORUM, 2008, 28–34. (In German)[Google Scholar]
- Anne Z. Steiner, and Richard J. Paulson. “Motherhood after age 50: An evaluation of parenting stress and physical functioning.” Fertility and Sterility 87 (2007): 1327–32. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Carolyn McLeod, and Susan Sherwin. “Relational Autonomy, Self-trust, and Health Care for patients who are oppressed.” In Relational Autonomy: Feminist Perspectives on Autonomy, Agency, and the Social Self. Edited by Catriona Mackenzie and Natalie Stoljar. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 259–79. [Google Scholar]
- Karey Harwood. “Egg Freezing: A Breakthrough for Reproductive Autonomy? ” Bioethics 23 (2009): 39–46. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Barbara Wirleitner, Pierre Vanderzwalmen, Magnus Bach, Batsuren Baramsai, Anton Neyer, Delf Schwerda, Maximilian Schuff, Dietmar Spitzer, Astrid Stecher, Martin Zintz, and et al. “The time aspect in storing vitrified blastocysts: Its impact on survival rate, implantation potential and babies born.” Human Reproduction 28 (2013): 2950–57. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Terry Hassold, and Patricia Hunt. “Maternal age and chromosomally abnormal pregnancies: What we know and what we wish we knew.” Current Opinion in Pediatrics 21 (2009): 703–08. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Kimberly Liu, and Allison Case. “Advanced Reproductive Age and Fertility.” Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, 2011, 1165–75. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Scott M. Nelson, Evelyn E. Telfer, and Richard A. Anderson. “The ageing ovary and uterus: New biological insights.” Human Reproduction Update 19 (2012): 67–83. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Daniel Kort, Jennifer Gosselin, Janet Choi, Melvin Thornton, Jane Cleary-Goldman, and Mark Sauer. “Pregnancy after Age 50: Defining Risks for Mother and Child.” American Journal of Perinatology 29 (2012): 245–50. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Mark V. Sauer. “Reversing the Natural Decline in Human Fertility.” Journal of the American Medical Association 268 (1992): 1270–75. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Heidi Mertes, and Guido Pennings. “Social egg freezing: For better, not for worse.” Reproductive BioMedicine Online 23 (2011): 824–29. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed][Green Version]
- Eli A. Rybak, and Harry J. Lieman. “Egg freezing, procreative liberty, and ICSI: The double standards confronting elective self-donation of oocytes.” Fertility and Sterility 92 (2009): 1509–12. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Human Fertilisation, and Embryology Authority. “Fertility Treatment in 2012: Trends and figures. ” Available online: http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/FertilityTreatment2012TrendsFigures.PDF (accessed on 28 April 2014).
- Wybo J. Dondorp, and Guido M.W.R de Wert. “Fertility preservation for healthy women: Ethical aspects.” Human Reproduction 24 (2009): 1779–85. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Imogen Goold, and Julian Savulescu. “In Favour of Freezing Eggs for Non-Medical Reasons.” Bioethics 23 (2009): 47–58. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Angel Petropanagos. “Reproductive ‘Choice’ and Egg Freezing.” In Cancer Treatment and Research: Oncofertility. Edited by Teresa K. Woodruff, Laurie Zoloth, Lisa Campo-Engelstein and Sarah Rodriguez. Boston: Springer US, 2010, pp. 223–35. [Google Scholar]
- Angel Petropanagos. “Fertility Preservation Technologies for Women: A Feminist Ethical Analysis.” Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Western Ontario, 2013. [Google Scholar]
- Maura Kelly. “Women’s Voluntary Childlessness: A Radical Rejection of Motherhood? ” WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly 37 (2010): 157–72. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Rosemary Gillespie. “Voluntary Childlessness in the United Kingdom.” Reproductive Health Matters 7 (1999): 43–53. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Rachel Alsop, Annette Fitzsimons, and Kathleen Lennon. Theorizing Gender. Malden: Blackwell, 2002. [Google Scholar]
- Claudia Bozzaro. “Ein Kind ja, aber erst irgendwann…: Überlegungen zum Einsatz von Egg- und Ovarian Tissue Freezing.” In Kinderwunsch und Reproduktionsmedizin: Ethische Herausforderungen der technisierten Fortpflanzung. Edited by Giovanni Maio, Tobias Eichinger and Claudia Bozzaro. München: Alber, 2013, pp. 233–49. (In German) [Google Scholar]
- Paul Benson. “Feminist Intuitions and the Normative Substance of Autonomy.” In Personal Autonomy: New Essays on Personal Autonomy and Its Role in Contemporary Moral Philosophy. Edited by James S. Taylor. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 124–42. [Google Scholar]
- Dominic Stoop, Julie Nekkebroeck, and Paul Devroey. “A survey on the intentions and attitudes towards oocyte cryopreservation for non-medical reasons among women of reproductive age.” Human Reproduction 26 (2011): 655–61. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Gillian M. Lockwood. “Social egg freezing: The prospect of reproductive ‘immortality’ or a dangerous delusion? ” Reproductive BioMedicine Online 23 (2011): 334–40. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Dieter Birnbacher. Natürlichkeit. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2006. (In German) [Google Scholar]
- Imogen Goold. “Should older and postmenopausal women have access to assisted reproductive technology? ” Monash Bioethics Review 24 (2005): 27–46. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Isabelle Bray, and David Gunnell. “Advanced paternal age: How old is too old? ” Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 60 (2006): 851–53. [Google Scholar]
- Gideon A. Sartorius, and Eberhard Nieschlag. “Paternal age and reproduction.” Human Reproduction Update 16 (2009): 65–79. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- 1This research was funded by VolkswagenStiftung, Germany, as part of the research group “Autonomy and Trust in Modern Medicine”.
- 2Several conditions such as cancer or autoimmune diseases require gonadotoxic therapy. Another reason for opting for SF can be the legal situation in the respective country, e.g., if embryo cryopreservation is prohibited by law as in Italy (e.g., by the Italian law on medically assisted reproduction (Law 40/2004)).
- 3In 2011, we conducted a questionnaire survey “On the ethical aspects of the cryopreservation of unfertilized oocytes” among fertility physicians. 51% of respondents were in favor of a legal regulation of “social freezing”. Of the 51% who spoke out in favor of legal regulation, a majority (55%) chose “maximum age at the time of implantation” as the matter to be regulated. This means that 28% of all of those we surveyed were in favor of an age limit for “social freezing”.
- 4Slow freezing is a freezing process in which cells are cooled at a rate of 1 °C/1.8 °F per minute. Vitrification requires a rapid reduction in temperature. During the process, fluid is withdrawn from the cell by cryoprotectants. The cell content and the remainder of the cell fluid go into a firm viscous aggregate state. This process requires larger amounts of cryoprotectants.
- 5Immature eggs can likewise be frozen and subsequently ripen in vitro. Research is currently being conducted on this method. To date, convincing results are yet to be achieved (e.g., ).
- 6Alterations of the cell relate to a vacuolization of the cytoplasm and a hardening of the zona pellucida (the surrounding membrane of the cytoplasm) .
- 7The effects should actually be dealt with under the topic of late parenthood. Since SF relates to women and the criticism is based on aspects of late motherhood, we concentrate on these points of criticism. Beyond this, however, there is need of a critical discussion from the perspective of gender.
- 8This point is important because it complicates the stipulation of a specific upper age limit. Another important aspect to be mentioned is that the differing age categories and age ranges within medical studies as well as the probably differing risks after natural conception, egg donation or SF make a clear analysis of the risks involved in late pregnancy difficult.
- 9PubMed search on 22 January 2014. Other search combinations ([advanced age], [postponed] AND [motherhood], [advanced age], [postponed] AND [fatherhood]) yielded similar proportions among the results, albeit at a very low number of articles (max. 7). MeSH terms on this topic could not be identified.
- 10Aneuploidy means that the number of chromosomes in a cell deviates from the usual distribution of chromosomes. Chromosomal aberration refers to a change in the structure of the chromosome due to mutated, missing, or extra DNA.
- 11Success rates of IVF depend mostly upon the age of the woman at the time of hormonal stimulation and/or egg retrieval. The quality of the egg decreases significantly with increasing age [68,69]. For 2012, the HFEA reports a live birth rate per IVF cycle (a transferred fresh embryo) between 41.5% for women aged 18–34 and 3.4% for women aged 45 and older (, p. 26).
- 12In the article cited, Angel Petropanagos analyzes whether there is a moral difference between disease-related egg freezing and age-related egg freezing (which we refer to here as SF). In her doctoral thesis, she gives a comprehensive moral analysis of SF. She concludes that an upper age limit for access to reproductive technologies is morally appropriate because women would otherwise be in danger of “ageist discrimination by inclusion”, meaning that women would feel under pressure to bear a child even later in life (, p. 143). The reasons for an upper age limit are possible harms to the woman, the resulting offspring, and others in society, especially other women (, p. 142). She also doubts that the decision of older women to opt for risky procedures of reproductive technologies is an autonomous choice of their own. She mentions internalized oppressive social norms, pronatalist and ageist values in particular, as the main reasons for this lack of autonomy (, pp. 146, 165).
© 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).