Susan Barrett

The other day my boyfriend's mother gave me the current issue of Newsweek telling me that it contained an article I must read. She had the magazine opened to the article "Why I froze my eggs". I thought to myself good lord, another journalist's attempt to inaccurately document fertility preservation and assisted reproduction.  However, the article is very well written and it gave a first hand view of the pressures women are feeling about their fertility in today's society as well as the correct steps a woman should take if they are considering these options. I checked out the company they mentioned in the article online and it turns out I had examined some test oocytes for spindle defects a few years back from this same group. At the time I know they were very sincere in their measures to find an alternative in Italy to freezing embryos (see http://www.the-scientist.com/news/20050614/01/).  I feel that the concept of oocyte freezing is directed more for young girls and women facing life threatening diseases over the lack of  "finding Mr. Right", however that is a personal choice made possible by new frontiers in reproductive biology.

One thing that was not mentioned in the article that I am puzzled by is that the author had 35 oocytes retrieved and only 8 of them were mature to freeze on the spot. Did they try to in vitro mature the remaining 28 or were they simply discarded?

Comments

Candace Tingen

I disagree a bit that we should be targeting our efforts in cryopreservation towards girls or women with life-threatening diseases. That's certainly a faction that may benefit, but I think it's probably a very small percentage. Obviously, this is an oncofertility blog, so that's what we focus on, but I honestly think the wave of the future for all fertility preservation treatments is for healthy young women who choose to delay childbirth and who for many reasons don't feel comfortable choosing a sperm donor immediately.

You really mentioned it, but I think it's important that delayed parenthood doesn't become so stigmatized in our language that only the sick are given a pass to do it. Actually, even the term "delayed parenting" assumes that the right time to have children is when you're (if you are a woman, at least) young. As a graduate student with a whole lot of things to do before I even consider having children, I'm just hoping that the timing of childbirth becomes a spectrum of "normal," acceptable behaviors, rather than the normal 20 something moms and the deviants who couldn't "find Mr. Right."

Candace Tingen

For the record, much of this thinking has been percolating for a while and isn't directly related to what you wrote; you're post just brought it to mind.

Susan Barrett

Excellent point to address!

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