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HFEA statement: Egg Freezing and Me

The HFEA have issued a statement regarding the BBC iPlayer documentary ‘Egg Freezing and Me’.

Clare Ettinghausen, Director of Strategy and Corporate Affairs at the HFEA, said:

“The numbers of people choosing to freeze their eggs is growing rapidly but is still a relatively small number, with very few of those going back to use their frozen eggs at the moment. While more women than ever are choosing to freeze their eggs, it’s important that anyone thinking about this understand the risks and costs involved. Egg freezing before a woman gets to their mid-30s can be worth thinking about to widen reproductive choices but is not a guarantee of having a baby in the future.

“Clinics must ensure anyone going through fertility treatment are given full information about the risks and long-term impact of any treatment they have, as well as full details of the costs involved. We have worked with the Advertising Standards Authority and Competition and Markets Authority where our powers are limited to ensure that clinics understand their obligations under advertising and consumer law.

“We strongly encourage those considering egg freezing to visit the HFEA website for free and impartial information about the process as well as to choose a fertility clinic.”


About the HFEA

  • The HFEA is the UK’s independent regulator of fertility treatment and research using human embryos.
  • Set up in 1990 by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, the HFEA is responsible for licensing, monitoring, and inspecting fertility clinics - and taking enforcement action where necessary - to ensure everyone accessing fertility treatment receives high quality care.
  • The HFEA is an ‘arm’s length body’ of the Department for Health and Social Care, working independently from Government providing free, clear, and impartial information about fertility treatment, clinics and egg, sperm and embryo donation.
  • The HFEA collects and verifies data on all treatments that take place in UK licensed clinics which can support scientific developments and research and service planning and delivery.
  • The HFEA holds records of all fertility treatments and outcomes taking place in licensed clinics since 1991.
  • The HFEA is funded by licence fees, IVF treatment fees and a grant from UK central government. For more information visit,

Review date: 13 March 2026