Page URL: https://www.progress.org.uk/

This week at the Progress Educational Trust (21 February 2020)


Support the Progress Educational Trust's #ExtendTheLimit campaign, to extend the 10-year storage limit for eggs frozen for non-medical reasons, by responding online to the UK Government's public consultation on the issue The Progress Educational Trust (PET) is pleased to report that its #ExtendTheLimit campaign, to extend the 10-year storage limit for eggs frozen for non-medical reasons, has been responded to by the UK Government.

Thanks to PET's campaign, the Government has now launched a public consultation on extending the 10-year limit for eggs (as well as for sperm and embryos).

The Government's outgoing Minister of State for Care, Caroline Dinenage, has written about the issue. She says:

'If a woman wants to preserve her eggs, the optimal time to do so is in her 20s or early 30s. If she chooses to do this at the age of 28, she has to be ready to use them before she is 38.

Read Caroline Dinenage, the UK Government's outgoing Minister of State for Care, discussing the public consultation on extending the 10-year storage limit for eggs frozen for non-medical reasons 'The current 10-year deadline can therefore leave her facing a gut-wrenching choice - become a parent before she is ready, use donor sperm to create embryos, or make the drastic and heartbreaking decision to destroy her eggs and possibly lose perhaps her only chance to have her own biological child.

'No woman should ever be denied the choice to become a mother, especially when our advancements in technology mean eggs and sperm can now be stored for longer.'

'Clearly there is a need to reconsider this limit, and that's why the Government has today announced our plans to consult on reviewing the existing storage limit, ensuring people' views are fully heard.'


Listen to science broadcaster Dr Emily Grossman discussing the Progress Educational Trust's #ExtendTheLimit campaign on BBC Radio 2 (the item begins at the 1:08:20 mark) Listen to Sarah Norcross, Director of the Progress Educational Trust (PET), discussing PET's #ExtendTheLimit campaign on BBC Radio 2 (the item begins at the 1:08:20 mark) PET Director Sarah Norcross has been quoted in the Daily Mail, welcoming the Government's consultation.

Sarah has also been interviewed about the issue - alongside science broadcaster Dr Emily Grossman, who has herself had her eggs frozen for non-medical reasons (and is therefore affected by the time limit) - in the following items on national radio.

  • A 20-minute item on BBC Radio 2 with interviewer by Amol Rajan, which can be listened to here (the item begins at the 1:08:20 mark).

  • A 10-minute item on BBC Radio 5 with interviewer by Emma Barnett, which can be listened to here (the item begins at the 0:41:35 mark).

The Radio 2 item incorporates a reading of an article in iNews, by a woman who faces having her stored eggs destroyed under the current law.

Listen to Emma Barnett interviewing Sarah Norcross (Director of the Progress Educational Trust) and Dr Emily Grossman on BBC Radio 5 (the item begins at the 0:41:35 mark) Listen to Amol Rajan interviewing Sarah Norcross (Director of the Progress Educational Trust) and Dr Emily Grossman on BBC Radio 2 (the item begins at the 1:08:20 mark) The author of the article explains her predicament, expresses her support for PET's #ExtendTheLimit campaign, and urges people to respond to the Government's consultation.


Please support the #ExtendTheLimit campaign in the following ways.


The launch of the Government's consultation follows months of campaigning by PET, which began with a petition on the UK Parliament's petitions website. This attracted more than 1,000 signatures within the space of a week, but then had to be closed due to the UK's 2019 General Election.

PET's work on this issue has also been discussed in the House of Lords, and has received media coverage including the following.

PET's Head of Communications Dr Catherine Hill discusses the campaign, and quotes Sarah, in this article published as part of the 'Your Fertility Journey' initiative launched recently by Mediaplanet.


In other policy-related news, PET's work on genome editing - in particular, PET's 'Basic Understanding of Genome Editing' project and follow-up work - has been cited by the Government and others during a recent debate in the House of Lords.