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Raising of Age Limit from 35 to 37 years for Egg Donors and Elective Egg Freezing

Type: Press Releases

Topic(s): Children & Families


Elective Egg Freezing (EEF) was announced in the 2022 White Paper on Singapore Women’s Development, and will be implemented by 1 July 2023. It was also announced then that the age limit for EEF would be set at 35 years, and MOH would continue to monitor the local and international evidence to assess the age limits for the freezing and subsequent use of eggs. Recent review of local and international evidence shows that success rates of egg freezing remain relatively stable for women up to 37 years of age. The age limit for EEF will therefore be set at 37 years, instead of 35 years as originally envisaged.

2. Currently, EEF is allowed only for medical reasons. The White Paper expanded this, so that women now have the choice to undergo EEF. This shift came after careful consideration, recognising that there may be women who desire to preserve their fertility, because of personal circumstances. This could include the desire to marry and conceive, but being unable to find a partner while they were younger. The White Paper proposed that the age limit for women intending to undergo EEF be set at 35 years old. This was tied to that of the prevailing age limits for egg donors. Only legally married couples can use their frozen eggs for procreation.

3. Since then, the Ministry of Health (MOH), in consultation with medical experts, has continued reviewing local and international evidence. This has revealed that the success rates from egg freezing, and subsequent usage of these eggs, continue to remain relatively stable for women up to 37 years of age. Research at this point shows that success rates using eggs from women older than 37 years continues to decline. Given this, MOH will increase the upper age limit by two years from 35 to 37 years old for both women intending to undergo EEF and egg donors, which will take effect with the Assisted Reproduction Regulations and implementation of EEF. MOH will continue to monitor both local and international evidence to assess the age limits for the freezing and subsequent use of eggs.

4. The Government remains committed and will continue to encourage and support Singaporeans to pursue their marriage and parenthood aspirations as early as possible. In making the announcement today, Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State for Social and Family Development and Home Affairs reiterated:
“We encourage families to have children early, to increase the chances of conceiving naturally and reduce the age-related risks in terms of conceiving and carrying the baby successfully to term. Nonetheless, we recognise that some women desire to preserve their fertility because of personal circumstances, so

that they can have the chance of conceiving and becoming parents, if they marry later. Elective Egg Freezing gives women this option. Raising the age limit to 37 years will support more women in their life aspirations and allow more couples to start families.”

 

MINISTRY OF HEALTH
MINISTRY OF SOCIAL AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT
15 MAY 2023