Monday, January 29, 2018

Should She Freeze Her Eggs?

For the past five decades feminists have argued that the greatest impediment to women’s career success was motherhood. Thus, they told young women to delay pregnancy as long as possible. If a woman became pregnant before her feminist matriarchs said was the right time, she needed but have an abortion—safe, legal and rare.

The argument continued that a fully self-actualized successful professional woman in her mid-thirties would easily find an appropriate husband… because, not being a needy clinger, should could be loved for herself and not for her looks. A good Darwinian could have told her that she was writing herself out of the marriage market, but feminists would not let themselves be tied down by male scientists. The fact that female fertility declined precipitously after age 35 was well known and scrupulously ignored.

While feminists are marching in the streets for reproductive rights they do not realize that their life plan has deprived many women of the free choice, to have or not to have children. Reproductive endocrinology has solved some of the problem, but it is certainly not a foolproof solution.

In the meantime the great feminist minds of Silicon Valley and elsewhere decided that they could extend a women’s fertility and keep them on the job. They would pay for women to freeze their eggs. Using frozen eggs a woman could wait to find the perfect husband and could have children at just about any age.

Companies like Facebook and Apple even offered to pay for the freezing. Anything to make a good feminist point… and to trick women out of their fertility.

The poster child for the movement was named Brigitte Adams. She appeared on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek several years back, to tout the fact that she had frozen her eggs and was merely awaiting the arrival of Prince Charming.

As it happened, Prince Charming never arrived, so Adams decided at the age of 45 to unfreeze her eggs and to have a child. What followed was tragic. The Washington Post reports:

Brigitte Adams caused a sensation four years ago when she appeared on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek under the headline, “Freeze your eggs, Free your career.” She was single and blond, a Vassar graduate who spoke fluent Italian, and was working in tech marketing for a number of prestigious companies. Her story was one of empowerment, how a new fertility procedure was giving women more choices, as the magazine noted provocatively, “in the quest to have it all.”

Adams remembers feeling a wonderful sense of freedom after she froze her eggs in her late 30s, despite the $19,000 cost. Her plan was to work a few more years, find a great guy to marry and still have a house full of her own children.

Things didn’t turn out the way she hoped.

In early 2017, with her 45th birthday looming and no sign of Mr. Right, she decided to start a family on her own. She excitedly unfroze the 11 eggs she had stored and selected a sperm donor.

Two eggs failed to survive the thawing process. Three more failed to fertilize. That left six embryos, of which five appeared to be abnormal. The last one was implanted in her uterus. On the morning of March 7, she got the devastating news that it, too, had failed.

Adams was not pregnant, and her chances of carrying her genetic child had just dropped to near zero. She remembers screaming like “a wild animal,” throwing books, papers, her laptop — and collapsing to the ground.

“It was one of the worst days of my life. There were so many emotions. I was sad. I was angry. I was ashamed,” she said. “I questioned, ‘Why me?’ ‘What did I do wrong?’

What did she do wrong? She bought into the feminist life plan, without realizing that biology and technology had a voice in her decision. She allowed herself to be duped by an ideology and lost her chance to have a child. She announced on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek that she had freed her career. Perhaps she did. But she paid a price.

Doubtless, you want to know the statistics. Surely, some women do conceive via frozen eggs.

The Post continues:

On average, a woman freezing 10 eggs at age 36 has a 30 to 60 percent chance of having a baby with them, according to published studies. The odds are higher for younger women, but they drop precipitously for older women. They also go up with the number of eggs stored (as does the cost). But the chance of success varies so wildly by individual that reproductive specialists say it’s nearly impossible to predict the outcome based on aggregate data.

In short, it’s a gamble. It’s also a gamble that a woman will find an appropriate suitor. Otherwise, she will need to find an appropriate sperm donor.

Fertility specialists are very clear:

James A. Grifo, a fertility specialist at NYU Langone Health who is one of the pioneers of the procedure, calls the whole notion of being able to “control” your fertility — perpetuated by the media and embraced by feminists — destructive.

“It’s total fiction. It’s incorrect,” Grifo said. “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. There has to be more dialogue about what women can be responsible for and what they are not responsible for.”

As for Adams, she is currently pregnant, with a donor egg and donor sperm. Not for an instant does she or any of the other women quoted in the story declare that this has anything to do with the feminist life plan. They blame it all on the fertility industry.


Derek Ramsey said...

The worldwide total number of live births *ever* from frozen eggs is only in the thousands (> 5,000). Not only is the success rate poor, but few women will ever even attempt the process. And the more a woman needs it (i.e. the older she is), the less likely it will be successful. It's an expensive insurance policy full of false hopes.

Shaun F said...

I have a fairly unique perspective on pregnancy issues. The amount of people in their 30s spending money on fertility drugs is quite high, in the sense that it is noticeable. These are what I describe as career minded and self centered. And fertility drugs usually means twins. And the twins end up in day care.

Jack Fisher said...

Darwin, hard at work.

Ares Olympus said...

Funny how some scientists say "Darwin says women should have children in there 20s for maximum fertility" and other scientists say "We now have technology to freeze eggs so you can have your cake and eat it too." or something like that.

And other scientists also said we can control your period with a pill so you can't get pregnant, so you can have sex for pleasure just like men. And yes, yes, other scientists too say "legal abortion is safe" just in case you mess up taking your pills.

Scientists would seem to know nearly everything about everything, if only we knew which ones we should trust.

But Derek is right, ideally you should get statistics of success rate and double check as well since sometimes the person you're talking to isn't a scientist but a marketer.

Sam L. said...

As I've said before, Feminists hate women. Addendum: They hate babies more.

James said...

Always hard boil eggs before you freeze them.

trigger warning said...

22nd Century caviar for the discerning Progressive Palate. Always thaw in the refrigerator.

Anonymous said...

Being a feminist means never having to take responsibility for your actions. One has men to blame, companies to blame, and almost everything that exists in life to blame. There is something telling about being forced to face the effects of "its all about me."
I want to know if feminism is so great how come so many women who fell for it are so unhappy?
How many failed theories have to litter the landscape because scientists have been wrong before we begin to question people who have such certitude about "science?" Put 40 scientists in a room and one is liable to get 40 different opinions. That is why it is called science instead of fact. Wisdom does not come from a degree.

Ares Olympus said...

Anon @7:09am, there's plenty of criticism of science, both the difficulty in coming to conclusions about complex subjects, and also arrogance that comes from reducing knowledge to what science can talk about.

E.F. Schumacher called his nemesis "Materialistic Scientism", which attempts to reduce all of the world and life into mechanical principles which can be manipulated for our benefit. And he notes there are levels of truth that exist different levels of being, and the scientific method can only really deal with the lowest level of chemistry with complete certainty. (So science can give people more choices, but it can't predict how those choices will help or hinder individuals in their development, like the hard-to-measure concept of wisdom.)

Anonymous said...

Damn, she was attractive too! Must have had major major issues that caused her singledom.