Doctors' Group to Women: Don't Freeze Your Eggs
The technology does not 'guarantee a successful pregnancy,' they warn
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2013 9:19 AM CST
Updated Dec 29, 2013 7:00 PM CST
This stock image shows fertilized eggs; the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is warning against freezing unfertilized eggs.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Egg freezing has apparently become such a trend that the New York Times last year covered a trend within the trend: parents who help foot the bill for freezing their aging daughters' eggs. But the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have issued a blunt message to women in their late 20s and 30s who are planning to freeze their eggs in hopes of extending their biological clock: They aren't for it. Dr. Samantha Butts, who was on the committee behind the statement, tells Today, "We don't want to give patients the impression that this technology," which has been available in the US for a decade, "can guarantee a successful pregnancy."

And while they do think it's appropriate in some situations—when a woman is facing cancer and may lose her fertility, for instance—"we are not endorsing widespread use of egg freezing for women who want to delay motherhood." What Butts would like to see instead: more frank discussions between OB-GYNs and their patients about other options, such as getting pregnant at a younger age without a partner, or taking the "more reliable" route of freezing embryos using donor sperm. (In terms of the latter, a woman recently had a baby with an embryo that had been frozen for 18 years.)

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Showing 3 of 37 comments
35422
Dec 30, 2013 12:16 PM CST
Her parents need grief counseling.
Terry Mulally
Dec 30, 2013 9:29 AM CST
Being a sperm donor and fathering multiple children over the past year I understand how impossible of a situation this is for women. Frozen donor sperm at the cost of $1450 not including insemination, then only a 5% or less chance of success quickly breaks the bank and crushes the heart. Freezing and unthawing sperm destroys it's viability, so don't listen to sperm banks boasts. Sperm lasts a very short amount of time after unfreezing, and the window of fertilization has to be exactly right. Then using a IUI, add another $500, and costs and fees add to $2000 per insem. I would say the pregnancy using at home AI without the committed partner is the best option, however also risky for the donor as the laws have not caught up to the reality of women's needs.
BugFace
Dec 30, 2013 9:11 AM CST
Personally speaking, it hurts every single day, to know that no matter how much you might want it, motherhood is something that may never happen for you. For me, this is an issue on a variety of levels: 1) a condition that makes it difficult for me to conceive, 2) being 30 years old (which means even without the condition, my fertility is waning) and not having a partner that you are in a place to try with, which is compounded by many men not wanting anything long term with a woman who will likely not be able to carry his children and 3) knowing that especially at your income level (not bad, but not spectacular), adopting a child on your own is unlikely. It's not a great feeling to look at wanting a family (and I would actually be onboard with an open, polyamorous situation, so I wouldn't even need the "traditional" to feel comfortable - just the love and support) and thinking that you could be a good mother, but knowing that you probably will never be able to have something that so many men and women take for granted and don't cherish at all. I can understand why a woman in a similar situation to mine, might want to freeze her eggs; and doing exactly that, or freezing donor sperm embryos has been suggested to me, but I still can't get on board with it. If I am going to be a mother, and I cannot do it naturally, than how is it right for me to spend so much money forcing it, as opposed to fostering, or adopting a child out of the foster system (my most viable option in my current situation), who would otherwise have a pretty crappy life, because his/ her parents couldn't bother to care for him/her? Sure, it would suck to not have a child, raise it as a newborn, pick out the features it shares with you and the partner who you love, etc., but well, that's just how it goes. That doesn't mean that loving and raising a child that you didn't give birth to, can't be just as awesome an experience. We don't always get what we want and instead of trying to force it, why not just accept it and make a plan where we can move forward and be happy?