Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) encompass the right of all
individuals to make decisions concerning their sexual activity and reproduction free
from discrimination, coercion, and
Dissertation: "Medicalising uncertainty. An Ethno-sociological study on autologous
oöcyte cryopreservation in France”
This thesis is a study of the complex social, medical, legal, bodily, technical and
kinship relations that shape oocyte self-preservation (oocyte vitrification for
autologous purposes) in France. The study focuses both on the normative dimension
that structures access to this biomedical technology and on the practices and
experiences of those directly involved (women having theirs eggs frozen, as well as
the practitioners and laboratory technicians who make it medically and technically
possible) and on the technical dimension of oocyte freezing. Drawing on a 20-month
fieldwork (2018 - 2019), this research presents an ethnosociological study combining
semi-structured interviews and an ethnographic research. Direct observation took
place in three French centres for medically assisted procreation (centres d’assistance
médicale à la procréation-Centre d’Étude et de Conservation des Œufs et du sperme,
AMP-CECOS) and, in particular, in their in vitro fertilisation (IVF) laboratories. On the
one hand, this work proposes to deconstruct the three legal-medico categories of
access to oocyte freezing in France: medical egg freezing or “fertility preservation,”
egg sharing and so-called social egg freezing. On the other hand, it questions the link
between oocyte self-preservation, procreation and motherhood. Contrary to what one
might think, my fieldwork leads suggest that oocyte self-preservation is not
necessarily a biotechnology for procreation. My analysis allows me to argue that egg
freezing is a kind of medicalisation of uncertainty from an institutional, subjective and
technical point of view.
Key words: egg freezing, assisted reproductive technology (ART), laboratory,
ethnosociology, medicalization, motherhood, France
PÉREZ HERNÁNDEZ, Yolinliztli, “Autoconservation ovocytaire sociale: imaginer le chaos” [Autologous oöcyte cryopreservation: imagining the chaos]. In Un changement de civilisation ? Reproduction médicalement assistée et imaginaires sociaux, Fabrice Cahen, Doris Bonnet et Virginie Rozée (Eds.), Paris: Éditions de l’INED, In press.
PÉREZ HERNÁNDEZ, Yolinliztli and ROZÉE, Virginie (2019), “L’autoconservation ovocytaire en France: analyse d’une pratique biomédicale controversée” [Autologous oöcyte cryopreservation in France: analysis of a controversial biomedical practice], 28, Revue ¿ Interrogations ? Available online: https://www.revue- interrogations.org/L-autoconservation-ovocytaire-en.
PÉREZ HERNÁNDEZ, Yolinliztli, “Gestación subrogada. Una revision etnográfica para contribuir al debate en México” [Surrogacy. An ethnographic review to contribute to the debate in Mexico], Debate Feminista, 56: 85-109.