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Is Egg Freezing Possible For a Single Woman in Thailand?

Introduction: Contrary to the growing trend, freezing eggs as a single woman is illegal in Thailand. This article explores the legalities surrounding egg and embryo freezing in the country, including the reasons why women choose to freeze eggs and the steps involved in the process.

Fertility Laws in Thailand

The laws of Thailand are stringent concerning anything connected to fertility treatment in the Kingdom. The laws are there to protect vulnerable men and women who could be exploited for financial gain and also to ensure that everything is done ethically.

The penalties for breaching any of these laws are severe, and no professional clinic would ever consider breaking these laws with the wellbeing of their patients taking utmost priority.

Image Suggestion: Legal documents and gavel symbolizing fertility laws in Thailand.

Egg Freezing In Thailand

At First Fertility, egg freezing in Bangkok is one of our main services that we offer as part of our fertility treatment so needless to say; we are incredibly careful that we don’t break any laws.

It is illegal for a single woman to freeze her eggs in Thailand and even if she is married the eggs must be for her own use, she cannot act as an egg donor, and the eggs cannot be taken out of Thailand.

The intricacies of this can be explained in greater detail by one of our highly trained teams at your initial appointment.

Legal Requirements for Egg Freezing in Thailand

Patients must understand that some laws in Thailand govern the freezing of eggs. The rules are designed to protect both parents as well as, potentially, the baby. The regulations include:

  • The female must sign a letter of consent agreeing to her eggs being frozen before the eggs are harvested
  • The patient will be required to undergo blood tests and other health screening programs (if required) to ensure that she does not have any contagious diseases
  • Should the female have HIV, screening will be necessary to separate “infected” and “uninfected eggs”
  • If the wife passes away, the eggs can only be used for a maximum of five years after the passing of the wife
  • Should the husband choose to use the eggs from his deceased wife, she must have signed a written consent before her passing. This is most commonly used when the wife has died from cancer
  • In a case where eggs used from the deceased wife by the husband, Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health must be informed and approval granted before any treatment takes place

Legal Requirements for Embryo Freezing in Thailand

It is common for a couple to choose to freeze already fertilized eggs rather than just merely the egg. The main reason for this is because embryos have a higher chance of surviving the thawing process resulting in more healthy embryos that can be transferred back to the female. The requirements include:

  • The couple must be legally married, and the original marriage certificate will be requested before embryo freezing can take place
  • Both the husband and the wife must sign a letter of consent before any procedures can take place
  • Both partners must undergo health screening to ensure that they are free from any contagious diseases
  • Should one partner has HIV, the “infected and “uninfected” embryos must be separated
  • If either the husband or wife wishes to use the embryos after the passing of the other partner written consent must have been given before their passing
  • Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health must be informed if frozen embryos are to be used after the passing of a spouse
  • All embryos can be kept no longer than five years after the passing of the spouse

Reasons for Freezing Eggs

Of course, every individual and couple will have their reasons for choosing to freeze their eggs, but, of course, we always ensure that the reasons are both ethical and legal.

The most common motivations include:

  • Women wishing to preserve fertility

Delaying Pregnancy: The Role of Egg Freezing

Modern women often want to pursue their careers or their education before starting a family. Sometimes the lady may want to delay having a child until her 40s or even 50s, an age when her fertility will naturally start to decline. Freezing her eggs in her early 30s, for example, increases her chances of becoming pregnant as it is her ovaries and oocytes that deteriorate at a faster rate than the uterus.

Woman in a professional setting pursuing her career.

Woman in a professional setting pursuing her career.

Duration of Freezing

Eggs, embryos, and sperm can all be frozen for up to ten years. However, it is essential to understand that there are some legal issues connected to this. The frozen embryos can only be used if the couple are married and living together as man and wife. Sperm cannot be used for artificial insemination at a later date if the couple has divorced. A copy of your marriage certificate will be requested should you decide to undergo fertility treatment.

The Egg Freezing Process

Egg freezing is a two-stage process with the first part of the process being the retrieving of the eggs from the donor. It is done using the same hormones that are used in IVF treatment which allows more mature eggs to be harvested. The first stage takes approximately ten days, and the female is sedated during harvesting.

The second stage of the process is, of course, the actual freezing of the eggs until the donor is ready to begin the IVF process. It is at this stage that the eggs will undergo rigorous testing to check for infectious diseases or any other mutations. Usually, the eggs are fertilized prior to freezing in preparation for being transferred back to the uterus when the couple are ready. When the transfer is ready to take place, the eggs will be carefully thawed in the clinic.

Example of medical equipment for the freezing process.

Example of medical equipment for the freezing process.

Conclusion: Understanding the legal requirements and intricacies of egg freezing and embryo freezing in Thailand is crucial for anyone considering fertility treatment in the country. It is clear that the laws are designed to protect the rights and well-being of individuals and couples involved in the process. It’s important to seek guidance from professional clinics like First Fertility to navigate through the legal and ethical considerations associated with egg freezing and embryo freezing. The decision to freeze eggs or embryos is deeply personal, and being well-informed about the process will help individuals and couples make the best choices for their future family planning.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can a Single Woman Freeze Her Eggs in Thailand?

No, it is illegal for a single woman to freeze her eggs in Thailand. Even if she is married, the eggs must be for her own use, and she cannot act as an egg donor.

2. What Are the Legal Requirements Regarding Egg Freezing in Thailand?

The legal requirements include signing a consent letter for egg freezing, undergoing health screening, and specific regulations if the wife passes away.

3. What Are the Legal Requirements Regarding Embryo Freezing in Thailand?

Couples must be legally married, both partners must sign a consent letter, undergo health screening, and there are specific regulations if one partner has HIV or in the case of a spouse’s passing.

4. What Are Some Reasons for Freezing Eggs?

Women may choose to freeze their eggs to preserve fertility, especially if they want to delay having a child until later in life due to career or education pursuits.

5. How Long Can Eggs or Embryos be Frozen?

Eggs, embryos, and sperm can be frozen for up to ten years, with legal considerations based on marital status and living arrangements.

6. What Is Involved With the Egg Freezing Process?

The process involves two stages – retrieving the eggs using hormones similar to IVF treatment and then freezing the eggs until the donor is ready to begin the IVF process.

  • Published on : Monday December 16, 2019
  • Last updated : Monday July 1, 2024
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About the author

Michelle Tan is an IVF Consultant with 12 years of experience in fertility consulting. Having personally undergone IVF and surrogacy, she brings firsthand insight and empathy to her work. Based in Singapore, Michelle frequently travels to clinics in Bangkok, Phnom Penh, and Bishkek, sharing her expertise and supporting patients on their fertility journeys.