Why worry? Put your Eggs on Ice!

Not that there aren't a few kinks to work out. The technology is new and has resulted in what boosters estimate at 500 live births worldwide. Extend, which has licensed the Italian proprietary technology for the United States, has about 200 batches (that's about 3,000 eggs) on ice in six fertility clinics nationwide.

At a rate starting around $16,000, plus about $450 a year for storage, it's no surprise that the numbers don't qualify egg freezing as a trend quite yet.

Most experts put the success rate between 10 percent and 16 percent, and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine is less than gung-ho.

Said spokesperson Sean Tipton: "The peer-reviewed data to date continues to show that there is not a high success rate."

Despite its reservations, the center reported that there does not seem to be any increase in birth defects or other abnormalities in the children born from frozen eggs.

Dworkin thinks it will take about five years for researchers to produce the large-scale proof necessary to convince the skeptics. "Inevitably, this will work itself out. Right now it's about 10-1 against, and some clinics may be overstating the success rate. But I believe science will master any problems."

Fifteen years ago people had similar reservations about what we used to call test-tube babies, Dworkin says. But today in-vitro fertilization and the process of freezing embryos are a widely acceptable options for infertile couples, military couples and women with cancer.

It's also another option for women who want to delay pregnancy for personal reasons -- the difference is you have to arrive at the clinic with a man in tow, or at least the "essence" of one.

Libraty, whose company does not provide embryo-freezing services, thinks the developments in egg freezing are liberating to women. "If you freeze embryos you are married to the sperm," she said.

What happens if you separate from your true love after paying all that money? What if you still want the embryos and he does not? Trouble, usually.

If it goes to court most likely the embryos will be destroyed, because, says Libraty, "you can't force someone to be a parent. Embryos are community property."

Lucia Vazquez, 33, had her eggs frozen just before her birthday not quite a year ago. A single Manhattan woman with a sales job she describes as demanding, Vazquez says that even if she were in a serious relationship, she wouldn't want to have children for at least five years.

"I'm just waiting until the time is right. There's other things I want to do for now." She also knows there's no guarantee and says she's fine with that.

"I figure if you're going to delay motherhood anyway, why not save your eggs?"

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