This summer, the first two babies produced from vitrified oocyte donation were born in the gynaecology-obstetrics department at Montpellier CHU (University Hospital Centre). The new oocyte vitrification technique was used, authorised in accordance with the bioethics law of 7 July 2011. This method involved the ultra-rapid freezing of oocytes by directly immersing the gametes in liquid nitrogen following the first oocyte donation in France.
For defenders of this method, the aim is to allow women who must undergo sterilising treatment to "preserve their fertility", to "reduce procreative tourism" and to facilitate "oocyte donation". The Collège national des gynécologues et obstétriciens français (French National College of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians) is calling for authorisation of "social" oocyte self-preservation, also known as "for personal convenience", thereby safeguarding pregnancies in later life. The Comité national d’éthique (French National Ethics Committee) reserves judgement on this change which is opposed by the fédération française des Centres d’étude et de conservation des oeufs et du sperme humain (Cecos) (French Federation of Centres for the Study and Preservation of Human Eggs and Sperm). And rightly so as far as the latter is concerned because the authorisation of oocyte self-preservation for personal convenience "conveys the idea that science can cope with pregnancies in later life".