China seems to struggle with family planning. For many years, China limited household size by only allowing parents to have one child- or pay a penalty. This was to slow population growth. Well, the tides have changed and now China needs more kids! Anyone else see this, or the bachelor crisis from sex-selective female abortions, coming?
Just this year, China has increased the permitted number of children to three. China isn’t the only one making moves to improve both its population growth and future. Singapore, like other places around the world, has seen a decrease in fertility rates. Really, to say a decrease in “fertility” is a bit of a misnomer. “Fertility” is declining because women and men are delaying marriage and childbearing to pursue other aspirations and fulfill other life goals. People can still have babies; they are just waiting too long. The biological clock stops for no one.
There are so many problems with egg freezing. First, it promotes the largely unresearched use of dangerous levels of fertility drugs on healthy women. Second, it creates a storage problem riddled with logistical nightmares and ethical quandaries. Does the “embryos on ice crisis” ring a bell? What about the various embryos that have died at the hands of faulty machinery? Do we really think we can handle eggs any better? Thirdly, one Australian study reported that most women who freeze their eggs don’t even use them! The study reported that only 6% of women went back to fetch the eggs they put aside. Of them, only half resulted in the birth of a child. Australia isn’t the only place that reached these conclusions. Fourthly, what happens to eggs of women that die? Do they go in a will? Do they go to family? Do they go to the highest bidder? Should they be destroyed? Finally, do we really trust others with our genetic material? I don’t know about you, but I have a feeling that unused, unwanted or abandoned eggs will find their way into the hands of those who will put them to unauthorized use (also called research and experimentation.
Women who do go back to retrieve their eggs are likely not going to get pregnant with them. The fertility industry doesn’t want us to know, but success rates in IVF (which you will have to use to utilize your frozen egg) are low. Not only that, but you might be setting you, and your baby up, up for medical complications. It is well known that older women and women that use IVF are more likely to give birth via c-section and have other health complications (like high blood pressure). Babies born from this process are more likely to be born smaller and earlier or have other health complications.
I really hope Singapore, and really every woman in this world, thinks about this before being tricked into freezing their eggs. You might think you’ll solve your fertility problem, but the truth is, you’re paying for something you might never use, you’re creating a myriad of other problems and you probably won’t have a child even if you do use your frozen egg later.
- Kallie started her professional career as a scientist in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Vanderbilt University utilizing a M.S. degree in Reproductive Physiology from Purdue University. While assisting in the investigation of endometriosis and pre-term birth, she decided that she wanted to interact more with women in a clinical role and went back to school to become a registered nurse. After living in Indiana, Tennessee, and Ohio, Kallie finally found her way to the Bay Area to work with Jennifer Lahl. Kallie will tell you that she is passionate about two things: her family and women’s health. Kallie resides with her husband in the Bay Area.
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