Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Freezing my biological clock?

In following up with my last post on families, and my changing perspective on having one, this article was published in the LA Times health section today:

"Meanwhile, Srilatha Gorthi of the Leeds Centre for Reproductive Medicine in England put the question to younger women (average age 21) for whom the idea of egg freezing was more theoretical.
Among 98 hard-charging medical students, 80% said the idea appealed to them. They saw the technology as a way to focus on their careers during their prime child-bearing years. Among 97 students majoring in education and sports studies, only 40% were open to the idea of freezing their eggs. For these women, the primary motivation for delaying pregnancy was to achieve financial independence." -K. Kaplan, If you could put your biological clock on hold, would you?, LA Times, 6/28/10.

On one hand it is nice to feel comradery around putting pursuit of career first at this point in my life; on the other hand, 80%?! First, I'm not sure how I feel about the whole idea of egg freezing to begin with. Just because the eggs are younger doesn't mean the body is as apt to carry the pregnancy or raise the child. (By this, I am not saying that older women should not be having babies, just that I don't think hormones and harvesting and freezing would be the right choice for me personally.) Second, clearly something is wrong with the priorities of the medical profession. And no, this realization of screwy priorities in the profession I am pursuing is not new, just reaffirmed.

With that, I go back to listening to the ticking of my biological clock...

2 comments:

chanaleh said...

just that I don't think hormones and harvesting and freezing would not be the right choice for me personally.

I assume that double negative in there is not intentional...

What I wanted to say, though, was: It might *not* be the right choice for you, ever -- but the thing is, the time to give yourself the option is now. If you decide at age 40+ that it *would* have given you useful options, you're way past decision time. (And for "you" read "any woman", but particularly "a woman facing the prospect of postponed childbearing".) It's like having a backup copy of your data (kept in climate-controlled storage) in case the original, well, degrades.

I know I'm oversimplifying, and I'm not saying there aren't significant costs (financial, physical, and otherwise). This aspect just struck me, sitting over here considerably closer to my 38th birthday. :-}

physician activist in training said...

You have a point. As someone so strongly pro-choice I need to view this as another choice women will be given. And overall, the more choices regarding reproductive freedom, the better.
Though this is a long way off from being an affordable and accessible choice for all women...