Freeze your eggs before you are 25, top pharmaceutical boss tells women – and she’s told her 22-year-old daughter the same thing
Women should consider preserving their eggs before the age of 25 in case of problems conceiving, according to the UK boss of pharmaceutical giant Merck Healthcare.
Doina Ionescu, who has been managing director of the German drugs group in the UK and Ireland since 2020, said she is encouraging her 22-year-old daughter Maria to freeze her eggs and would advise any young woman to do the same.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Mail on Sunday, Ms Ionescu, 57, said: ‘Awareness of fertility starts with education and clearly the younger you are the better chance you have at having a healthy child. I am encouraging my daughter, who is 22, to preserve her eggs before the age of 25. The age of the eggs is really crucial.’
She added men ‘need educating as well as young women’ on the importance of thinking about fertility in their twenties. Ionescu said she regretted putting off starting a family until her thirties in order to concentrate on her career.
‘I have personal experience. I have one daughter. I would have liked to have had more and to have been younger when I had her,’ she said. ‘In my twenties, I wanted to have a career, I didn’t want to have a child.’
Doina Ionescu has told the Mail on Sunday that women should consider preserving their eggs before the age of 25 in case of problems conceiving
Speaking in an exclusive interview, Ms Ionescu, 57, said: ‘Awareness of fertility starts with education and clearly the younger you are the better chance you have at having a healthy child (file image)
READ MORE: An eggspensive decision! Majority of women who freeze their eggs don’t even use them at all, finds study
She said in the 1980s and 1990s, she and other ambitious women in her age group ‘were so driven by professional achievement’.
‘I put off having a child until my thirties and then I kind of struggled a bit,’ she said.
‘This generation is much more aware than I was.’
Egg preservation rose by 64 per cent between 2019 and 2021 according to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
The average cost of freezing eggs is £,5,000, plus a £300 annual storage fee.
Thawing, fertilising and implanting them for pregnancy costs another £5,000 at least – and success is not guaranteed.
Research also suggests few women use their frozen eggs. Of those who do, the chances of becoming pregnant could decrease depending upon their age at the time of freezing.
Egg preservation is not normally available on the NHS unless women are undergoing medical treatment that could affect their fertility, for instance for cancer.
Merck is this month launching a scheme to pay for fertility treatment for its staff in the UK.
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