Pu­blished: 8. Fe­bruary 2022 | Up­dated: 31. May 2022 Author: Jenia Chor­naya | Re­viewed by Jenia Chor­naya

So­cial Free­zing: re­asons and ac­cep­tance

So­cial Free­zing, or: What do Mi­chelle Obama and Kim Kar­da­shian have in common?

The trend towards ha­ving children later in life has long since re­a­ched us. But while cul­tural and so­cial rea­li­ties have ch­anged si­gni­fi­cantly in re­cent de­cades, our bio­lo­gical clock is still at the same level it was se­veral thousand years ago. So what can we do to re­con­cile our life plans with our bio­lo­gical re­qui­re­ments?

The topic of in vitro fer­ti­li­sa­tion (IVF) is less stig­ma­tised today than it was a few de­cades ago. It cer­tainly helps that more and more women are spea­king pu­blicly about their IVF ex­pe­ri­ences, from former First Lady Mi­chelle Obama to ce­le­bri­ties like Kim Kar­da­shian.

There is a clear trend among the ge­neral po­pu­la­tion to have children later. A study by the Fe­deral In­sti­tute for Po­pu­la­tion Re­se­arch shows: While in 1970 the average age of the mo­ther at first birth in Ger­many was 24 years, in 2016 it was al­ready around 31 years [1].

At­ti­tudes towards so­cial free­zing have ch­anged con­sider­ably

It is not only the so­cial ac­cep­tance of IVF that has ch­anged greatly in re­cent years. So­cial free­zing is also be­co­ming in­cre­asingly re­le­vant in so­ciety.

Ac­cor­ding to a po­pu­la­tion survey con­ducted by the he­alth insu­rance com­pany IKK Classic in 2019, 46% of women in Ger­many con­sider so­cial free­zing to be a good so­lu­tion. 34% of women would not use the me­thod them­selves, but can un­der­stand the de­cision in others. Only 20% of women re­ject so­cial free­zing in prin­ciple [2].

The cliché of so­cial free­zing as a career re­ason is not true

When Ame­rican com­pa­nies like Face­book and Google an­nounced in May 2014 that they would pay for the so­cial free­zing tre­at­ments of their fe­male em­ployees, the news had a big im­pact in Ger­many as well. It was the be­gin­ning of a so­cial de­bate: To what extent should young women be en­cou­raged to put their careers be­fore fa­mily plan­ning, and to what extent is it per­mis­sible to help them do so me­di­cally?

Alt­hough there was a lot of media at­ten­tion around the topic, most of the ar­ticles missed the real truth with their cen­tral thesis — so­cial free­zing is mainly so­me­thing for career-ori­ented women. In a 2013 study, women were asked why they had their eggs frozen (mul­tiple ans­wers were pos­sible). Con­trary to the common as­sump­tion that so­cial free­zing is pri­ma­rily done for career mo­tives, only 24% of the re­spond­ents stated this as a re­ason. A si­gni­fi­cantly larger pro­por­tion of re­spond­ents, na­mely 88%, in­di­cated that they curr­ently did not have a sui­table partner for ha­ving children. 15% gave fi­nan­cial re­asons or named a too high burden as a re­ason for post­po­ning the child wish [3].

An­o­ther mo­ti­va­tion for so­cial free­zing that is often ne­gle­cted: In cer­tain cases, cancer pa­ti­ents have their eggs frozen be­fore che­mo­the­rapy in order to have them fer­ti­lized in case they want to have children later. This va­riant is also called me­dical free­zing.

» So­cial Free­zing — Suc­cess sta­tis­tics

» How does So­cial Free­zing work and what do I need to know?

About Fer­tilly

At Fer­tilly, we have made it our mis­sion to ac­com­pany cou­ples (ho­mo­se­xual and he­te­ro­se­xual) and sin­gles on the way to ful­fil­ling their child wish. In doing so, it is im­portant to us to create trans­pa­rency in the area of fer­ti­lity ser­vices, to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion and know­ledge on the to­pics of pregnancy and fer­ti­lity and to help you to find the most sui­table Fer­ti­lity Center. Th­rough co­ope­ra­tion with first-class Fer­ti­lity Cen­tres and cli­nics in Eu­rope, en­qui­ries about Fer­tilly are given pre­fe­ren­tial tre­at­ment. This means that our pa­ti­ents avoid the usually long wai­ting times and get ap­point­ments more quickly.

If you would like more in­for­ma­tion about Fer­ti­lity Cen­ters, suc­cess rates and prices, please contact us using this ques­ti­on­n­aire. We will ad­vise you free of charge and wi­t­hout any ob­li­ga­tion.

  • Answer the first ques­tions in the on­line form in order to book an ap­point­ment. This way we can better ad­dress your needs du­ring the con­ver­sa­tion.

  • We will find the best contact person for your in­di­vi­dual needs. Sche­dule 20 mi­nutes for the con­sul­ta­tion.

  • We will in­tro­duce you to the right fer­ti­lity clinic from our net­work, make an ap­point­ment and ac­com­pany you until your wish for a child is ful­filled.

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1. Bun­des­in­stitut für Be­völ­ke­rungs­for­schung (2018) — https://www.bib.bund.de/DE/Fakten/Fakt/F20-Alter-Muetter-bei-Erstgeburt-Deutschland-West-Ost-ab-1960.html
2. IKK Classic, Kin­der­wunsch­studie (2019) — https://www.ikk-classic.de/dam/jcr:7954b949-9290–4e49-a3e07971a647938b/Ergebnisse%20Befragung%20Kinderwunsch%20Teil%20Eins.pdf
3. Hodes-Wertzet al., Fer­ti­lity & Ste­ri­lity (2013)