Elizabeth Cohen, the Senior Health Correspondent for CNN just published a wonderful article on egg freezing called “Freezing Your Eggs – The Costs and Other Realities” on CNN’s Empowered Patient” Blog. It is a damn good piece – and I love my quote in it where I compare egg freezing with gambling in Vegas.
Egg freezing is going to be one of those hot topics in reproductive medicine that is only going to get hotter with time as the technology gets better and better because the need for egg freezing in the lives of women is only going to continue to grow. The biggest issue is proving outcome (live babies), as many women today who are freezing their eggs are usually cancer patients who are not ready to build their families (sometimes not for quite some time) and women who are facing the end of their biological potential who are not ready or able to start their families yet. What that means is a lot of hope on ice. And let’s be clear that is exactly what it is – hope.
Several of my clients in my fertility coaching practice came to me looking for direction on where to go to freeze their eggs – and help in the decision making process. While every case is different – what every woman has had in common with each other was the willingness to bank on hope.
But is that any different than anyone else accessing reproductive technologies ever? Yes – we know more today about IVF success rates than we ever did – but that has taken time. Back in the day – when I did IVF -all we had was hope. We were being given a chance at hope – at possibility. But we weren’t discouraged from taking that chance – as I think women are in some circles being discouraged from egg freezing because it is still experimental. I wonder if I would have done IVF when I was a going through infertility – if ASRM had released a statement about it being so unproven when I was a patient.
If I was a patient facing cancer – or a woman nearing the ledge of fertility decline (not yet ready or able to build my family) – and I knew that I wanted children someday – I would absolutely freeze my eggs today. Yes – women need to be told that this is not an insurance policy – that this is experimental – and they need to be consented. But egg freezing holds real promise – and for those women who are at a place in their lives where it is take a chance or no chance – I would look them straight in the eye and say go for it. Buy that ticket to Vegas!
We already know what not trying will give you – so why reach for the chance?