They are often portrayed as hard-hearted individuals who are putting motherhood on hold in order to climb the career ladder.
But women who freeze their eggs are actually waiting for a man who is perfect father material to come along.
Researcher Kylie Baldwin, who asked a group of women why they froze their eggs, said: ‘I think they were looking for a hands-on father.
‘And it was the absence of this particular type of potential father, not just the absence of any partner, that led them to freeze the eggs.
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Egg freezing was introduced to give cancer patients the possibility of still having children but it is becoming increasingly common for lifestyle reasons
‘It’s not just about not having the right partner, it’s about having the right dad for their child.’
Interestingly, some of the women were in a relationships – but froze their eggs because they didn’t believe their partner was father material and were hoping someone better would come along.
Egg freezing was introduced to give cancer patients who face the risk of being left infertile by their treatment the possibility of still having children later in life.
But it is becoming increasingly common for lifestyle reasons and business is booming.
Some 816 British women putting motherhood on ice in 2014, the latest year for which data is available.
This is a 25 per cent increase on 2013 and almost a 30-fold rise on 2001, when just 29 women froze their eggs.
Clinics charge up to £6,000 per session. But some women could go through up to 10 sessions, taking their bill to £60,000.
Mrs Baldwin, a PhD student at De Montfort University in Leicester, conducted detailed interviews with 31 women who had frozen their eggs up to seven years earlier.
Women who freeze their eggs are actually waiting for a man who is perfect father material to come along, a study found
The women were predominately middle-class and highly educated and were aged 38, on average, when they their eggs frozen.
Mrs Baldwin, a sociologist, said: ‘I asked them about what their motivations were and I would say none of the women underwent the procedure for career reasons.
‘Instead, it was very often down to their perception that it was not yet the right time for them to be pursuing motherhood for one reason or another.’
The research, presented at the British Science Festival in Swansea, suggested that far from putting off motherhood to further their careers, the women had thrown themselves into their work to compensate for not being able to find a suitable man.
Mrs Baldwin said: ‘One of the women said to me, ‘Yes, I’ve got a great career but that’s not because I’ve deliberately avoided relationships, it’s because there was no one at home to go to, so I stayed late at the office.’.
The women also told how their desire to form a ‘family unit’ was being thwarted by their difficulty in finding a partner who was as committed to parenthood as they were.
The researcher said: ‘I think there is this shift, this increasing expectation for men to play a larger role in the home and in the raising of children.
‘And I think these women really embraced this and had this expectation of their male partners and that hope wasn’t met.’
She added that while egg freezing is touted by some clinics as a ‘quick fix’ to the speeding up of the female biological clock, it doesn’t help address the reasons that lead to women using it.
These include the lack of suitable partner, as well unstable job markets and soaring property prices.
The comments about men’s reluctance to commit echo some made by one of Britain’s leading fertility doctors earlier this year.
Professor Adam Balen, chairman of the British Fertility Society, said: ‘There is a notion that young men are not committed to relationships in the way they have been in the past.
‘Childhood for some men is being extended into 20s and 30s when they’re not committing to a relationship.’
Others have warned that egg freezing does not guarantee motherhood.
Since 2001, 3,676 British women have frozen their eggs but fewer than 60 babies have been born to them.
Robert Winston, the IVF pioneer and broadcaster, has described the process as being ‘grossly oversold by commercial interests with very little practical chance of a baby in most instances’.
Last night Geeta Nargund, medical director of Create St Paul’s in London, Europe’s largest IVF clinic, agreed that many patients are struggling to find Mr Right.
She said one reason men struggle to commit is because they are under less biological pressure to become parents than women.
Dr Nargund also expressed concern that the women studied didn’t freeze their eggs until 38 – when fertility has already plummeted.