Inside London's Pop-Up 'Egg Freezing Shop'

Encouraging women to talk about their fertility and discuss their options, an 'egg freezing shop' is popping up in Old Street for a limited time...

Encouraging women to talk about their fertility and discuss their options, an 'egg freezing shop' is popping up in Old Street for a limited time...

Everybody has an opinion on egg freezing - but how many of them are accurate? As we realised while writing our 'Fertility Updated: 2016' investigation, the amount of conflicting information out there can be kind of overwhelming.

That's why, this March, a pop up egg freezing shop (wittily called 'Timeless') will be opening in Old Street, London, for seven days. Encouraging women to ask questions about their fertility and consider their options in an open environment, the shop explores the ways in which egg freezing could impact upon the gender pay gap, relationship equality and society in general.

Focusing on 'social egg freezing' (freezing your eggs for the sake of your lifestyle, rather than your health), the shop raises the question of what would happen if you could ensure your fertility later in life - whether you'd pursue your career differently, slow down your dating, or just feel slightly less panicked about the whole biological clock thing.

And along with asking a few provocative questions, the shop is going to be fun, too - featuring a range of fictional-but-amazing-sounding beauty products, including a 'three-step solution for egg freezing', a bespoke line of perfumes called 'Eau so Pressured' (perfectly scented for the next time you go for dinner with your boyfriend's parents), and a range of age-defying serums, with labels warning you about your fertility decline (ok, they sound less fun).

Plus there's going to be a short film (and who doesn't love a short film?) and a programme of live talks by leading experts in reproductive medicine and gender politics - not to mention some women who've experienced egg freezing, and actually know what it feels like.

Of course, as with all amazing things (especially amazing things that could enable gender equality), it's only temporary at this stage. Created by UK-based creative consultancy, The Liminal Space, with support from the Wellcome Trust and expert advice and research from The London School of Economics and Political Science, the hope is that the shop will address the 'information gap' surrounding egg freezing.

'Social egg freezing is a relatively new offer but one that could soon become as revolutionary to women’s life choices as the Pill,' explain Sarah Douglas and Amanda Gore, Directors at The Liminal Space. 'With companies such as Apple and Facebook including it as part of benefits packages, and some clinics promising egg freezing as an ‘insurance policy’, there is increasing pressure on women to consider freezing their eggs without fully considering the potential impact on the workplace, their relationships and wider society.'

As part of the project, The Liminal Space conducted a survey which revealed women aged 18-24 are far more comfortable considering egg freezing as a way to improve career progression and control their lives than women of older ages. (84% of women aged 18-24 agreed that improving their career was a good reason for freezing their eggs, and 59% believe women should be encouraged to use egg freezing as a way to give them more reproductive autonomy).

'Women often come to the clinic too late for fertility treatment to work for them,' adds Dr Tim Child, Medical Director at Oxford Fertility Unit. 'We support the Timeless project because it brings the topic of fertility directly to young women, and provides a unique way to engage them in thinking about their fertility and the options available to them.'

The Timeless pop-up shop will be open at Old Street Station for one week only, from 29 February – 5 March 2016, 8am – 8pm. Find out more at: www.time-less.or, or follow on Twitter at: @_time_less

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