Freezing for love: enacting ‘responsible’ reproductive citizenship through egg freezing

Katherine Carroll*, Charlotte Kroløkke

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    68 Citations (Scopus)


    The promise of egg freezing for women’s fertility preservation entered feminist debate in connection with medical and commercial control over, and emancipation from, biological reproduction restrictions. In this paper we explore how women negotiate and make sense of the decision to freeze their eggs. Our analysis draws on semi-structured interviews with 16 women from the Midwest and East Coast regions of the USA who froze their eggs. Rather than freezing to balance career choices and ‘have it all’, the women in this cohort were largely ‘freezing for love’ and in the hope of having their ‘own healthy baby’. This finding extends existing feminist scholarship and challenges bioethical concerns about egg freezing by drawing on the voices of women who freeze their eggs. By viewing egg freezing as neither exclusively liberation nor oppression or financial exploitation, this study casts egg freezing as an enactment of ‘responsible’ reproductive citizenship that ‘anticipates coupledom’ and reinforces the genetic relatedness of offspring.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)992-1005
    Number of pages14
    JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2018


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