Egg Freezing for Social Reasons: Reproductive Autonomy and Legal Regulation

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Egg Freezing for Social Reasons

Reproductive Autonomy and Legal Regulation

This study seeks to explore the topics of egg freezing for ‘social’ reasons, reproductive autonomy, and legal regulation . Here, the term ‘social reasons’ refers to situations where women freeze their eggs for any reason other than purely medical infertility and can cover a wide range of factors.

This study is being conducted as part of a Doctorate of Philosophy Degree (PhD) by Natalie Richardson, a student at Kent Law School, University of Kent. This study is funded by the South Eastern Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS), an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) accredited Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP).

What is the goal of the study?

The purpose of this study is to gain a deeper understanding of the consenting processes for egg freezing for social reasons and determine whether they are operating effectively with regard to users’ reproductive autonomy.

This study will include qualitative interviews with two groups of participants: (1) clinicians offering ‘social’ egg freezing (service providers); (2) women who have frozen their eggs for ‘social’ reasons (service users). These interviews will focus on how informed consent processes work in practice in this context, and how they are understood by both groups.

What is involved in the study?

The following individuals are invited to participate in interviews:

  • Service Providers: healthcare professionals currently/previously working in a UK clinic offering egg freezing for social reasons
  • Service Users: people who have undergone at least one cycle of egg freezing for social reasons in a UK clinic

Research participants are being asked to take part in a 60-90 minute semi-structured virtual interview (conducted via Microsoft Teams).

How can I participate?

For further information about participating in this study, you can find links to the participant information sheets and consent forms for both participant groups in the sidebar of this page.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Natalie Richardson (