The number of US IVF clinics offering egg freezing services will double this year, according to the Los Angeles Times. “The trend has the potential to rewrite the script for young adulthood, persuading women to further defer marriage and motherhood,” says the Times. Female fertility peaks at age 27 and by age 40, the chance of getting pregnant is less than 10%. By freezing their eggs, women can be relatively free of their biological clock’s stressful drumbeat.”
Several women explained why they were having eggs extracted and frozen in a procedure which is still largely experimental, although it has resulted in between 100 and 200 babies around the world so far. “I wanted to separate my desire to have kids with my timing for choosing to be with someone,” a 36-year-old acupuncturist said. “It has helped relieve the pressure that fertility is clouding your judgment about whether to be with someone. You want to have children with the right person.”
And a 38-year-old divorcee says that egg freezing “is like an investment in the chance that I might want to have another kid… It’s the ultimate feminist solution. You don’t have to say, ‘I have to have a kid right now.'”
Although there seems to be a lot of interest in the technique, its safety still largely unproven and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine has urged that egg freezing not be offered to healthy women. “Most clinics have chosen to ignore that advice,” says the Times.
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