2nd International Symposium
on Social Egg Freezing

6 March 2015


1st International Symposium of Social Egg Freezing

Welcome message

Valerie Vernaeve

Rita Vassena

Dear friends and colleagues,

It is our pleasure to welcome you to the 1st International Symposium on Social Egg Freezing!

The elective freezing of oocytes to delay motherhood is strongly entering the assisted reproduction field.

As more and more women around the world access this option for socio-economic reasons, we feel that it has become our urgent duty as professionals in assisted reproduction to pause and gather expert opinions on this issue.

This one day international symposium, the first of its kind, will promote an open and dynamic discussion on the ethical, demographic, social, medical and psychological implications of elective oocyte freezing in our society.

Join us and the international lineup of speakers, scientists, and opinion leaders for this exciting event of outstanding medical caliber.

Under the auspices of:
  • Asociación para el estudio de la Biología para la reproducción
  • Endorsed by Sociedad Española Ginecologia y Obstetricia
  • Sociedad Española de Fertilidad

Scientific Program

08:30 – 09:15 Registration
09:15 – 09:25 Introduction – Valérie Vernaeve
09:25 – 09:40 Welcome address by the Catalan Government Health Counsel Dr. Francesc Sancho
Chairpersons: Guido Pennings (Belgium) & Buenaventura Coroleu (Spain)
09:40 – 10:10 Oocyte cryopreservation as an insurance strategy: a socio-demographic viewpointTomas Sobotka (Austria)
10:10 – 10:40 Is there a need for oocyte cryopreservation: attitudes and intentions among women Dominic Stoop (Belgium)
10:40 – 11:10 Is there a need for oocyte cryopreservation: the psychological viewpoint Sofia Gameiro (UK)
11:10 – 11:50 Coffee break
Chairpersons: Safaa Al-Hasani (Germany) & Dominic Stoop (Belgium)
11:50 – 12:20 Oocyte cryopreservation: what are the evidences? Laura Rienzi (Italy)
12:20 – 12:50 Expanding reproductive lifespan: a cost-effectiveness study on oocyte freezing Mariette Goddijn (The Netherlands)
12:50 – 14:15 Lunch
Chairpersons: René Frydman (France) & Juan Felipe Vélez de la Calle (France)
14:15 – 15:15 Is oocyte cryopreservation for social reasons ethically defendable?
Against: Michael Grynberg (France) In favour: Guido Pennings (Belgium)
Chairpersons: Anna Veiga (Spain) & Judith Roqué (Spain)
15:15 – 15:45 Legal situation on social oocyte freezing Luis Alfonso de la Fuente (Spain)
15:45 – 16:15 The future of social oocyte freezing Valérie Vernaeve
16:15 – 16:30 Closing remarks Valérie Vernaeve


Tomas Sobotka

Dominic Stoop

Sofia Gameiro

Laura Rienzi

Michaël Grynberg (against)

Guido Pennings (in favour)

Luis Alfonso de la Fuente


Guido Pennings

Guido Pennings

Dr.Pennings is professor of ethics and bioethics at Ghent University (Belgium) where he is also the director of the Bioethics Institute Ghent (BIG).

He mainly publishes on ethical problems associated with medically assisted reproduction and genetics including sex selection, gamete donation, stem cell research, fertility preservation, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis.

In addition, he is Affiliate Lecturer in the Faculty of Politics, Psychology, Sociology and International Studies at Cambridge University and Guest Professor on “Ethics in Reproductive Medicine” at the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Free University Brussels.

He is a member of the Task Force on Ethics and Law of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), the National Advisory Committee on Bioethics and the Federal Commission on Research on Embryos in vitro.

Laura Rienzi

Laura Rienzi

Dr. Rienzi is co-founder of GENERA Centres for Reproductive Medicine in Italy and laboratory director of the centers in Rome, Marostica and Umbertide. Previously, she was laboratory director at the Centre for Reproductive Medicine of the European Hospital in Rome for eleven years. She is a leading expert in oocyte cryobiology, and a recognized pioneer in the field of oocyte vitrification. Her current areas of interest include studies of gamete, zygote and embryo morphology in relation to their developmental ability, as well as the cryopreservation of embryos and oocytes.

Internationally recognized for her expertise in human clinical embryology and research as evidenced by invitations to speak at more than one hundred national and international scientific meetings, she has authored more than sixty papers and is a regular reviewer for many Reproduction Journals including Human Reproduction and RMB online.

Additionally, Laura Rienzi is a member of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) since 1995 and member of the Executive Committee member of the Italian Society of Reproduction (SIdR) since 2007.

Dominic Stoop

Dominic Stoop

Dr. Stoop took his medical degree in 2001 and completed his residency in obstetrics and gynaecology in 2007 at the Ghent University. He then joined the Centre for Reproductive Medicine of the Free University of Brussels where he currently works as a medical director. He is an ESHRE board certified subspecialist in reproductive medicine and surgery.

His main clinical and research interests are ovarian aging, oocyte donation and female fertility preservation through oocyte and ovarian cortex cryopreservation. He was involved with the introduction of the first egg bank in Belgium and he obtained his PhD on oocyte donation and autologous oocyte banking. He is in charge with the oocyte cryopreservation program for age related fertility decline (social egg freezing). He has a large clinical experience with social egg freezing as he treated several hundreds of women so far.

Sofia Gameiro

Sofia Gameiro

Dr. Sofia Gameiro (UK) is a Mathematician and Licensed Clinical Psychologist. She is a Lecturer at the School of Psychology, Cardiff University. She conducted her doctoral studies at the University of Coimbra (Portugal), where she investigated how parents adjust to the birth of an ART conceived child. More recently her research has focused on Reproductive Decision-Making, in particular regarding compliance in fertility treatment.

Sofia Gameiro is the Chair of the International Committee for the Development of the New Guidelines for Infertility and Counselling in Europe of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). She is also Junior Deputy of the Coordination Board of the Special Interest Group in Psychology & Counselling of ESHRE.

She has several publications in Psychological and Medical Journals, including Human Reproduction, Human Reproduction Update and Fertility and Sterility.

Michael Grynberg

Michaël Grynberg

Michaël Grynberg is an obstetrician gynecologist specialized in reproductive medicine. After 6 months as a visiting fellow in the Department of Reproductive Medicine at Cornell University, he returned to work in France and is currently undertaking an attending physician in the Division of Reproductive Medicine at the Hôpital Antoine Béclère, Clamart, France. He is, in particular, in charge of the activity of female and male fertility preservation. He recently completed his Ph.D. on the topic of the regulation of the follicular growth and AMH production. He is an active member of the INSERM unit 782 and his current research interests include the assessment of ovarian follicular status, folliculogenesis and female fertility preservation.

Michaël Grynberg, along with his colleagues, has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles in international journals and books.

Tomas Sobotka

Tomas Sobotka

Tomáš Sobotka is senior researcher at the Vienna Institute of Demography (Austrian Academy of Sciences) and the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital. He coordinates ERC-funded research project EURREP focusing on fertility reversals and reproduction in contemporary Europe. He belongs to the leading European researchers in the field of fertility and population change. Tomáš Sobotka studies a broad range of topics, including low fertility, changes in family, childlessness, measurement issues, fertility intentions and assisted reproduction as well as the interrelation between migration, fertility and population trends. Together with Joshua Goldstein and Vladimir Shkolnikov he has initiated a Human Fertility Database Project that aims to provide access to detailed and standardised data on fertility rates (http://www.humanfertility.org).

Mariette Goddijn

Mariette Goddijn

Dr M Goddijn, M.D., Associate Professor, is Reproductive Gynaecologist at the Center for Reproductive Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In 2003, she obtained her PhD degree from the University of Amsterdam: “chromosome abnormalities in first-trimester pregnancy loss”.

Her areas of research are recurrent miscarriage and fertility preservation. She is the author of numerous publications in international peer-reviewed scientific journals and books, supervised research projects of 4 completed theses and currently supervises 8 PhD students. She is now chair of the Board of the SIG ‘Early Pregnancy’ (ESHRE).

Among Dr.Goddijn research interests there is the analysis of cost effectiveness of social oocyte freezing, and she has agreed to discuss with us the implications that oocyte freezing can have in the social and political debate in the countries where it is introduced.

Luis Alfonso de la Fuente

Luis Alfonso de la Fuente

Dr. De La Fuente took his medical degree in 1980 and completed his residency in obstetrics and gynaecology in 1986, as well as his PhD in 1987 from the University of Seville. He then served as Associate Professor in Health Sciences at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid.

He is currently the Medical Director of the Istituto Europeo de Fertilidad, in Madrid. He was a member of the “Preimplantational Genetics Diagnosis European Consortium,” of the ESHRE, and a long standing member of the Spanish Fertility Society.His main clinical and research interests are preimplantation genetic diagnosis, ovarian aging, and the law regulating assisted reproduction in Spain.

The Speakers

Elizabeth Fino

Gillian Lockwood
United Kingdom

Bernard Hédon

Anne Goriely
United Kingdom

Rita Vassena

Heidi Mertes

Guido Pennings

Miodrag Stojkovic



Auditori AXA
Av. Diagonal, 547 - Barcelona (08029)


    • 08:30
      Welcome & Registration
      Valérie Vernaeve
    • 09:20
      Social freezing in the USA: current trends and future perspectives
      Elizabeth Fino (USA)
    • 09:50
      Social egg freezing: the UK perspective
      Gillian Lockwood (UK)
    • 10:20
      Social Freezing in France: why not?
      Bernard Hédon (France)
    • 10:50
      Coffee Break
    • 11:15
      Social freezing for the male?
      Anne Goriely (UK)
    • 11:45
      Social egg freezing - the clinician
      point of view: information, indications
      and expectations
      Rita Vassena (Spain)
    • 12:15
      Selected oral communications
    • 13:00
    • 14:45
      Who needs social freezing?
      Heidi Mertes (Belgium)
    • 15:15
      Social freezing and the welfare of the child
      Guido Pennings (Belgium)
    • 15:45
      The future of social egg freezing: making oocytes from stem cells?
      Miodrag Stojkovic (Serbia)
    • 16:15
      Conclusions & symposium clausure
      Amelia Rodriguez (Spain)