An IVF expert in the UK believes that the National Health Service (NHS) should be responsible for funding the freezing of young women's eggs.
If you're anything like us, it's hard to know when the right time is to have kids, if you want them at all of course. Typically, if you look back on previous generations, people tended to have children much younger. Your parents likely gave birth to you before you had children, and their parents probably had them even younger again.
That is not a trend that has gone unnoticed by Professor Neeta Nargund, a gynecologist and leading IVF expert in the United Kingdom. Professor Nargund believes that the trend has left Britain on the verge of a "fertility crisis" and that something drastic needs to be done to counteract it. Her radical idea? Making egg freezing for childless women available for free courtesy of the NHS.
Egg freezing is obviously already a well-practiced way of preserving fertility, however, currently in the UK, it costs in the region of $4500 to $6000 for the privilege. That's not a luxury that many can afford, especially since one of the main factors causing women to put off having children in the present day is economic and financial restraints. Professor Nargund doesn't hide the fact that it would be an expensive task for the government, but she notes that the state would benefit from such an undertaking.
"Having children is not just for yourself. It is directly benefiting society in its prosperity because without children who is going to pay for pensions?," she told the Mail On Sunday. According to the Office Of National Statistics, as of 2016, there were around 642,000 childless women in the UK. If all of them were to take up the offer of having their eggs frozen for free on the NHS, it would cost the government a whopping $3.32 billion, or around $553 million per year.
While Professor Nargund appears to have a lot of supporters when it comes to her idea, she also has a fair few critics. Mail On Sunday columnist, Dr. Ellie Cannon believes that the NHS has more pressing issues to deal with and even though adding freezing eggs to its workload sounds like a nice idea, it is simply not feasible and falls far down the pecking order when compared to other things that it currently needs to tackle.