The Egg Freezing Debate Continues
Here are some additional comments about the egg freezing debate that arose last week after the announcement that Facebook and Apple are “paying” for egg freezing. These comments were made by some of the top professionals in the fertility field. The PathtoFertility blog on Friday elicited some of these comments. But like any conversation, of course, it took on a life of its own. Please send any thoughts or comments to me--I will keep them anonymous if you would like--at FertileYoga@gmail.com. This is an important conversation and it’s a way to become more educated, especially for younger woman. I was fascinated by what I learned last week. What do you take away from this conversation?
Professionals Weigh In About Egg Freezing
Thank you for such a well thought out blog. I agree that this is most likely a marketing ploy as well as a recruitment tactic on the part of APPLE and FB. I also agree with Sharon that women need to fully understand the full process, risks, and success rates before undergoing an egg retrieval to freeze eggs. With that said, I am glad to see that this is bringing the issue of women's fertility and egg quality related to age to the forefront. There is such a lack of information and education for women about this subject. The reality is that women can't wait as long as men before having their children. We are taught we can have it all and postpone having children, but not many women understand the risks that come with that postponement...potential infertility. Egg freezing is not perfect. Egg freezing is not a guarantee that a woman will have viable eggs when she is ready to consider using them...but I still think it is worth careful consideration. Will APPLE and FB also pay for embryo freezing? Embryo freezing is actually much more successful in producing a child than egg freezing. If a woman has a spouse or partner, then this offers an even greater option for women who are in a relationship but want to postpone pregnancy. I haven't seen any comments about this.
Not to stir up this pot even more... but...if people are offended by what is going on with APPLE and FB and feel it is simply enticing women to prolong pregnancy, how do you think they will react to the news that some of the IVF centers are now offering women the incentive of getting a couple of frozen eggs for free if they will donate eggs to the center for their egg bank...Egg banks that then sell that woman's eggs to others for a profit? On the surface it looks like a nice gesture to give a donor 1-2 eggs for freezing for herself, but all the literature says a donor needs 10-20 frozen eggs to have a successful pregnancy. What the egg banks are offering is not going to get women what they want or need with egg freezing, but it is going to entice women to donate eggs to that center's egg bank in the belief that they are getting the golden ticket of some frozen eggs for their own use and for free. In the meanwhile, the center is making a profit off of her donation and she could end up with nothing. This is happening now. I find this far more disturbing than anything that APPLE or FB might do. I look forward to your response.
~Darlene Cummings Pinkerton (@apmpresident)
I personally believe that every healthy woman who is considering egg freezing so she can have an "insurance policy" for her future child(ren) needs to be fully educated on what are the possible percentages that her eggs will make the thaw, fertilize and become the pregnancy she was waiting for. And what of the cost of IVF because NOW that she is using frozen eggs the only way to use them is via IVF. Let’s not forget the cost of medication both for the egg retrieval but also for the embryo transfer. (12 weeks of progesterone shots anyone??) So while I think it's great that some companies are expanding their family building option coverage, education is still a key factor for choosing the seemingly convenient choice of putting off child raring for a few more years. (But still with no guarantees!)
~Sharon LaMothe (@SharonLaMothe)
I don't think anyone is arguing the tremendous benefits (potential?) of egg freezing. And for those of us with young daughters, a huge hooray. Even here in this thread, though, we are giving corporations way too much credit. While the outcome may very well be (not sure how it can turn out any other way), that women will have lessened the burden of career pursuits and or finding a partner in a culture where marriage/family making is of less priority to a certain demographic, I find it pretty far-fetched that we assign this level of awareness, compassion or sensitivity to decision makers at a company like Apple. Yes, the benefits to women are many (although someone else, I think it was Risa, cited the economically challenged woman for whom this benefit might be a deal breaker in terms of optimizing her fertility)....if you have been recruited by and are hired by Apple, for the most part, you have already been wooed with the promise of a significant financial package with all sorts of bells and whistles. All of us in this field understand the benefit of this, through our own personal journeys, through the folks we assist and for some as we think about our own daughter's fertility. So, on all of these matters, I agree with all of you (who couldn't, who wouldn't?).
~Amy Demma (@AmyDemma)
Honestly, you would think Apple and Facebook were offering their employees exposure to Ebola with the amount of controversy that has been generated from this news. The sky is not falling because they did this. It may not be perfect, but what I am most surprised about is the low opinion of the intellectual capacity of female Facebook/Apple employees from people who consider themselves feminists.
~Terri Davidson (@marketingmaven)
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