One-Time Face of Women Freezing Eggs Now Has Warning

Egg-freezing industry is only giving half the story, Brigitte Adams says
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2018 12:24 PM CST
Stock image   (Getty Images/bluecinema)

(Newser) – "There is a huge marketing hype of it, and overpromising," Brigitte Adams says of egg freezing. And she should know. The Washington Post reports Adams "became the de facto poster child for a generation of women considering the procedure" after appearing on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek four years ago touting the benefits of egg freezing for a woman's career. She was in her late-30s when she froze her eggs for $19,000. Now, 11 failed eggs later, she realizes the tale she and others were telling about egg freezing was only part of the story—the part where women empower themselves by taking control of their fertility. But that's not the reality of egg freezing—and it's a damaging lie. "It's total fiction. It's incorrect," fertility specialist James Grifo says. "Your whole life it's beaten into your head that you're in control and if you can't have a baby, you blame yourself."

"Part two" of the story, as Adams puts it, is what happens when women are ready to use those frozen eggs. She says it's not true when the fertility industry claims there isn't any data on the success rates of egg freezing. "There is some data. It's just not pretty data," she says. Studies have found that a woman who freezes 10 eggs at 36 has between a 30% and 60% of having a baby with them. Adams says it's important for women to know the odds of failure are high, especially as egg freezing becomes more popular. While only 20,000 or so woman in the US have had the procedure done, the number of women freezing their eggs has skyrocketed every year, and one expert predicts up to 76,000 women could freeze their eggs in 2018. Read the rest of the story here for more accounts of successes and struggles from women who've frozen their eggs.

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