Frozen fertility: Elective Egg Banking among Norwegian Women
About the project
“Kvinner som er vant til å planlegge sin fremtid får en unik sjanse for å utsette graviditet til et mer passende tidspunkt uten å uroe seg for den biologiske klokka.» (“Women who are used to planning their future get a unique chance to postpone pregnancy to a more convenient time without worrying about their biological clock”.) With these words, in Norwegian, a fertility clinic in Riga1 pitches its elective egg freezing service. Such services, in which women pay to have fertile eggs extracted and preserved for later, are on the rise in the global markets of reproduction, illustrated by that fact that since 2014, high-profile companies such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple provide egg freezing as an employee benefit, allegedly to attract more women on to their staff. This project studies the use of egg freezing for non-medical reasons among Norwegian women, who due to national legislation need to go to Riga – or elsewhere – to make use of this “unique chance” to gain such new control over the temporalities of their bodies.
Frozen Fertility will be the first research to map out such “egg freezing tourism” from Norway, investigating the circumstances under which egg banking is carried out and how it is motivated, and gain new insights into how this new reproductive technology affect women’s reproductive behaviour, and their perceptions of possibilities and limitations entailed with regard to life phases and procreation. Does egg banking provide empowerment and more gender equality when it comes to fertility, or are we just seeing yet another way of making a profit from women's bodies, desires and fears?
University of Oslo, 2019-2023
Department for Community Medicine and Global Health, Institute of health and society, University of Oslo.
The project Ice Age led by Professor Charlotte Kroløkke, University of Southern Denmark