The announcement that Apple and Facebook will pay for employees to freeze their eggs has provoked a lively discussion. This is certainly an exciting development and one that we hope will ignite the conversations that reproductive endocrinologists have been having with patients for years.
A woman’s most fertile years can often span the same time period where graduate school and professional endeavors are top priorities. Advances in egg freezing technology have provided options for women that may allow them to keep both paths open. It is important for women to know that freezing eggs is not a guarantee for a future family and women should understand what science can do, and what it can’t.
Freezing eggs can be empowering and allows women to be proactive in planning for a family down the road. In younger women (under 36 years old), freezing at least 20 eggs is a great way to keep the door open for having a baby. A woman will not know exactly how effective her planning will be until the eggs are thawed and fertilized and until the embryos develop and implant. Therefore, we encourage women to continue the dialogue with their Ob/Gyn and/or reproductive endocrinologist to make sure they are planning in the most successful way, even after their eggs are frozen.
When you invest money, you meet with your financial planner every 1-2 years to make sure your investments are still sound. When you freeze your eggs, you should meet with your physician periodically to make sure your long term fertility plans are still within reason.
The announcement of company funded egg freezing announcement provides a great opportunity for women to learn more about their individual fertility potential. Women can undergo simple blood testing and an ultrasound examination to evaluate their ovaries and egg pool. This is an important way for women to understand how their chronological age and their ovarian reserve may translate into future chances for a pregnancy. An initial appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist can help women navigate the often overwhelming and confusing road towards pregnancy.
We are thrilled that employers may make it more feasible for female employees to freeze their eggs. RSC Bay Area supports all actions that provide educated women the ability to make educated decisions about their fertility. We also hope that this announcement will allow us to engage in the very important dialogue of fertility preservation with women who are making critical decisions about their future.
Please discuss egg freezing with your friends and colleagues. Should you want to explore egg freeing further, schedule an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist to learn more about this very exciting technology.