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Long Awaited Extension To Storage Time Limit For Eggs, Sperm And Embryos

The Health and Care Act 2022 has recently come into force, which has altered the law on the frozen storage of gametes (eggs and sperm) and embryos which are to be used for fertility treatment. Previously, gametes and embryos could be stored for a maximum of 10 years, after which point they would be destroyed (unless certain medical exemptions applied). The new law has altered this time limit, increasing the limit to up to 55 years regardless of the circumstances.

This increased time limit will have a huge impact on those who wish to preserve their fertility and need to conceive through fertility treatment. In particular, women will be able to store their eggs at a younger age, without the stress of having to use them within a decade. Equally, this change in the law brings hope to fertility patients who are hoping to conceive using frozen embryos, as the pressure of the 10 year time limit has been lifted.

Conceiving with the help of fertility treatment can be hugely stressful and emotionally challenging, and this change will, at least in part, help to alleviate some of this stress, bringing some much-needed relief to those wishing to start their families, either now or in the future. 

For help and advice relating to fertility and fertility treatment contact our family law team.