BABY MAKING ON ICE
Growing numbers of women are choosing to freeze their eggs, thanks to a new and more successful technique called oocyte cryopreservation.
Some IVF clinics offer information evenings for women, “Eggs and the City”, others do “coffee and cake”! EggBanxx is a company in the US that is offering “Egg Freezing Cocktail Parties. We welcome you to join EggBanxx in learning more about egg freezing! Our events and egg freezing parties bring together fertility doctors, first person testimonials, Q&A sessions, financing information and cocktails!”
It is a fact that after the age of 35 a woman has a decline in fertility, and more markedly again after age 40. But egg freezing does not offer a guarantee of a pregnancy, but is simply an option to consider, according to IVF specialists.
This relatively new technique is called vitrification, which includes a rapid freeze. This technique has an almost 90% success rate of thawing the eggs. IVF specialists can offer freeze now and come back in a few years with a partner or donor sperm. For somewhere between $10,000-$20,000 can buy a woman peace of mindOr does it?
What has happened to the organic meeting across a crowded room and love at first sight? Or the immediate connection at a work place of like minded souls? Or introductions from a well-meaning friend, who decides these two mutual friends would definitely like each other? Or the blind date, often organised by another well-meaning friend?
Of course women have careers, but women have had careers for many decades, and up until recently, still found time and opportunities to meet a partner. It is a curious question about why men and women are not meeting the ‘right’ person, early enough, to become life partners and make babies naturally. Are young women today looking for too much perfection in a partner? Or is it simply that technology (IVF), has advanced to the point where there is another, seemingly easier way, on offer.
There is also debate about what technique works best. Some of the chemicals used in the freezing process are toxic to embryos, and no one knows how much the eggs absorb. Moreover, there has been no systematic follow-up of children born from frozen eggs.
Oocyte cryopreservation was originally explored to help women with cancer, because treatments such as chemotherapy can cause sterility. But, according to Briana Rudick, a fertility specialist at Columbia University in New York, the biggest demand is now from women electing to delay motherhood and almost nothing is known about how well older eggs freeze and will thaw.
THE EMOTIONAL TOLL
The emotional toll associated with family-building failure can be devastating. The marketing of these fertility procedures as a lifestyle enhancer has overlooked the emotional responses of these medical procedures, which can lead to a different kind of health concern one involving mental health. Studies have shown that people coping with fertility failures are as distressed as cancer patients. Many others suffer depression and post traumatic disorders.
These negatives are conveniently overlooked by those selling services. You will not find failure rates or the harmful impacts highlighted in brochures or on clinic websites.
There is big money to be made in selling dreams of parenthood. A report by Allied Analytics LLP estimates that the net worth of the IVF market at the end of 2012 was US $9.3 billion, a figure that is estimated to increase to $21.6 billion by 2020.
Apart from all of the above, the very big consideration is what effect this has on the psychological development of the embryo/baby. There is much evidence on the importance of how a baby is conceived, grown and birthed, and the imprinting that occurs from conception, that sets a pattern forever in the child’s mind. So in an ideal world, if we want to improve humanity on every level, we need to be creating our babies out of love and from a spiritual idea of inviting a new soul into our world. Nature cannot be replicated. It appears that no-one is looking at the long term psychological ramifications of a baby being conceived in this way.