We all know someone who’s thought about freezing her eggs, or who has done it. We’ve learned it’s not as simple as it sounds, nor is it a cure-all. The concept is enticing: Don’t let your biological clock dictate your sex-, work-, family- life. Women are having children later in life and are facing the harsh reality that sometime it’s too late. Is freezing eggs the answer? Should every women in college be considering this as a way of keeping her options open down the road?
Some say this is another example of women shouldering the burden of the currently climate of inequality, that a real solution to this problem looks like a cultural shift, not an invasive medical procedure that may or may not work.
I don’t think anyone would argue that better maternity leave, better childcare options and an environment that values the family more is a better alternative. Somehow the strangely scifi option of freezing eggs is more of a reality for women than culturally embracing the reality of our biological clocks. Facebook and Apple moved to include egg freezing in their benefits package , do you think more female employees will exercise that option or the chance for extended maternity leave? This should be viewed as a cultural problem, not a women’s issue.
In this half hour video we hear from a woman undergoing the procedure, we hear from the icky-third-party vendors who sell the idea to vulnerable women, we hear from ethicists, medical doctors and a women who says despite suffering from a dangerous side-effect of the high doses of hormones (her ovary twisted over on itself) she would do it again. This is informative and full of fodder for conversations.
Here’s the video from Broadly.com, In 2014, tech companies like Apple and Facebook added egg freezing to their healthcare packages. The procedure has since received a lot of media attention, often being touted as a reliable option for career-oriented women to delay parenthood. What was once strictly a medical procedure for women facing life-threatening illnesses has now become elective and mainstream, regarded by its proponents as an “insurance policy.” As a result, new market has emerged, with third-party “egg brokers” and fertility clinics selling the incredibly expensive service to women using questionable marketing strategies and misleading statistics.
There’s an emerging narrative that implies that parenthood and success are incompatible—but is that really true? Why are women so eager to freeze their eggs? In an effort to make sense of the convoluted and sometimes contradictory messaging around the procedure, Broadly meets with experts in the field, egg brokers, and patients whose road to parenthood may depend on birthing a child from their frozen eggs.