UK Government extends fertility time limits for freezing sperm in Leicester

This week, X&Y Fertility celebrates a success for people exploring fertility treatment and sperm freezing in Leicester.

The Progress Educational Trust has championed a long-running #ExtendTheLimit campaign aimed to change the UK government’s view on freezing sperm and eggs for non-medical or so-called “social“ storage.

At present, the storage limit is 10 years, and this can be extended up to 55 years, but only if eggs or sperm are stored for medical reasons such as chemotherapy or premature infertility.

However, nowadays people are increasingly looking for options to start parenthood later in life.

Reasons vary from:

- focussing on themselves to achieve career progression

- medical conditions

- undergoing gender reassignment

- or simply not ready or able to start a family

The present 10-year cryopreservation limit not only narrows the window for people to start a family but it also pressures them into making lifechanging decisions on their fertility choices. For those who already have egg and sperm in storage, heart-breaking choices are required: to either use them within the time-limit or accept removal from storage.

#ExtendTheLimit calls for an extension to the legal length of time egg, sperm and embryos can be stored in the UK.

At X&Y Fertility, we support the right for people to be given the freedom to freeze their gametes without a distinction between medical reasons or non-medical (social) reasons. Every fertility situation is unique, and therefore the same fertility options should be made available to all people. No one is more or less deserving.

It is great news that the government will now change the rules, to allow the same storage period for all, without any distinction between medical or non-medical purposes. This will give more people the opportunity to start a family in Leicester at their will, whether they want to be a single parent or same-sex parents.

Well done to Sarah Norcross and the team at PET for championing the #ExtendTheLimit campaign!

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