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Reproductive Sociology Research Group


Yvonne currently works as an HP lecturer /GTA at King’s College London, where she teaches the module Critical Policy Research at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. She also supervises and gives lectures on gender, health and reproduction at the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge

Yvonne is a trained sociologist with interested in the areas of gender, health and technology, particularly the social and ethical aspects of reproductive technologies. She has extensive teaching experience, mostly in the areas of (advanced) social theory, gender, health, sexuality, reproduction, policy, qualitative and ethnographic methods. Her previous research explored policy-making of reproductive technologies, with a focus on the legal prohibition of egg donation in Germany. As part of this, she also examined the reproductive tourism / fertility market for IVF and egg donation in Europe. Yvonne has also completed a project on the ethical implications of using artificial intelligence for embryo selection during IVF.

Next to her academic work, Yvonne offers a small number of fertility consultations, webinars and seminars, to pass on her insights on the European IVF / egg donation market to clinicians, intended parents and a lay audience. To ensure her research reaches the public, she writes articles for various fertility websites and magazines, such as EggDonationFriends, Fertility Road,, and takes part in public engagement events, such as the London Fertility Show and the German “Kinderwunschtage". 

Yvonne is a recent ESRC-funded ReproSoc PhD graduate. During her PhD, Yvonne was supervised by Prof Sarah Franklin. She conducted fieldwork in Germany to examine the German legal prohibition of egg donation and the costs that this ban imposes on German clinicians, intended parents and their children conceived via egg donation abroad (project website, 

Her research has been published in academic journals, such as International Women’s Journal and Springer-Publishing House, and featured in academic conferences and the media, for example the German public broadcasting programmes ARD and Radio 1, as well as in popular media, such as fertility websites and magazines like Babywunsch, Fertility Road, etc.

To learn more about her research, feel free to contact Yvonne directly
In 2019 Yvonne spent a semester at Yale University, after she received the competitive University of Cambridge ESRC Overseas Institutional Visit Award and the Monica Kornberg Memorial Fund. She was supervised by Prof Rene Almeling. During her academic stay, Yvonne was involved in workshops and seminars with scholars from Science and Technology Studies (STS), Law and Social Anthropology, including Prof Sheila Jasanoff (Science and Technology Studies, Harvard University) and Prof Marcia Inhorn (Social Anthropology, Yale University). During her stay in the US, she was selected to act as a Youth Envoy to the 8th Economic and Social Research Council Forum at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, April 8-9, 2019, where she engaged with government representatives, policymakers and other stakeholders on the relevance of providing access to education about sexual and reproductive health.
Academic / work background

Yvonne completed her undergraduate degree in Chinese/Language Studies, and Politics, Psychology and Sociology (PPS) at the University of Cambridge 2009-2013. She finished among the top 5% of her class, graduating with a first-class BA Hons / MA Cantab. She gained some professional work experience for two years after her undergraduate degree. Yvonne was involved with the European projects Youth in Action (YIA) and Young European Federalists (JEF), after having previously completed a traineeship at the Directorate-General for Communication (DG COMM) at the European Parliament, Brussels. She gained work and research experience at the BMW Herbert Quandt Foundation before she founded the start-up SympatMe in late 2014. Starting as a platform to help immigrant women with bureaucratic processes in Germany, SympatMe has today become a major source of support for an increasing number of internationals settling in Germany every year.

Yvonne received a Distinction for her MPhil degree at Cambridge. In her MPhil dissertation, Yvonne examined the public discourse around the Legalisation of Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) in Germany in 2011, also referred to as the debate on the ‘designer-baby technology’. To this end, she drew on explorative, in-depth interviews with German policy-makers, fertility clinicians and lawyers. You can find more information on


Key publications: 

Peer-reviewed articles and book chapters

Frankfurth, Y. (2021). Navigating anonymity and openness: Germans travelling abroad for egg donation. In Beier, K., Brügge, C., Thorn, P., and Wiesemann, C. (eds.), Familienbildung mit Hilfe Dritter [Making Families with Assisted Reproductive Technologies]. Springer-Verlag (Medizin).

Frankfurth, Y. (2017). Mothers, Morality and Abortion: The Politics of Reproduction in the Formation of the German Nation. Journal of International Women’s Studies, 18(3), 51-65.

Under review

'Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) Help us Become Pregnant? - Selecting embryos with AI software in fertility treatment'. Publication as part of the project 'Automatic the Crowds' by the Cambridge Digital Humanities and the Alan Turing Institute, under review


Babywunsch, Magazine, 2019 (12/2019), 'Leaving the Nation to have a Child - Tracing the journeys of Germans who travel to Austria for egg donation'

ARD Plus-Minus, German Public Broadcasting, Interview, “Research Study on the German Prohibition of Egg Donation” (Eizellenspende, Beweggründe und Erfahrungen“), August 23, 2017.

Radio 1, Interview, German public broadcasting programme on Germany’s first fertility show, February 21, 2017.


Please visit the research website Repro-Travel ( for more information on the PhD project.

To access more information about the study on the German prohibition of egg donation (Eizellspende), please visit The website is in German and primarily intended to recruit interviewees, such as German fertility clinicians, experts and intended parents. 


Yvonne pursues her social engagement and interest in emerging technologies as founder of the German fertility platform, Es klappt nicht ( From fertility tracking apps to finding an egg donor, she combines relevant research insights and personal interviews with experts and intended parents to shed light on women’s use of reproductive technologies in Germany.

Keen to learn more about the real-world applications of artificial intelligence, she is a volunteer at Re-Work, where she helps bring together AI-stakeholders from industry and academia to network, exchange knowledge and incite public debate on the use of new technologies (