Past the glossy pages of this month's issue of Vogue Magazine (May 2011), there's a thoughtful article about egg freezing and what it could represent for women's reproductive future.
Egg freezing in an attempt to stop the proverbial "biological clock" from going off is becoming more and more mainstream thanks in part to a greater awareness of infertility issues and recent scientific breakthroughs.
Some important thoughts and questions are discussed here, some of which have been brought up in earlier articles and blog entries. One that really struck with me was whether egg freezing was giving women a false sense of security of their future ability to have a family when the perfect career and partner have been crossed-off the To-Do-List. Furthermore, while a woman may undergo several cycles in order to accumulate enough oocytes to freeze, how many cycles will it take to guarantee that one will be able to develop into a healthy baby?
I for one have produced well over 80 oocytes (through monitored cycles) and (thankfully) have now only one child to show for my many cycles. If one's odds of conceiving is about 50/50 (at a good clinic), I'm not sure where that leaves us. I know some women conceived on their first cycle, while others have done close to ten and are still trying. Or during one cycle I produced 28 eggs (thanks to PCOS) but none took.
Another important question is how late can you wait until you are ready to have those eggs turn into embryos and be transferred back to you? One of the pieces that I wrote that seems to get the most hits is my "That's not my grandchild" entry, where I discussed older women giving birth/becoming mothers in their 60's and even 70's. I know many were outraged that it was even legal for women who were well into their menopausal years to be given access to donor eggs.
Honestly, I still haven't made up my mind on this one. If you have the foresight of freezing your eggs at 30, have a great career and/or not finding the right partner for you, or simply that you just weren't mentally or financially there yet, then shouldn't you technically be allowed to claim your eggs at 50 to finally take the plunge? Unlike traditional egg donations, these frozen eggs are yours. I'm sure this must be hotly debated amongst bio-ethisits.
I know I'm raising more questions than I'm answering (not the typical format of this blog), but those are all valid questions to ponder and I'm sure you'll have many of your own. Please share them with me.