Women ‘freeze their eggs because they are waiting for Mr. Right
Most women who have their eggs frozen to delay motherhood are doing so because they have yet to find Mr. Right – rather than because they are putting their career first.
A study has found less than a quarter of women who store their eggs to delay starting a family do so because of work. Instead, 88 percent do so because they are single or have failed to find the right partner.
The research from Albany Medical College, in New York, was unveiled this week at an Edinburgh discussion on social egg freezing, raising concerns that today’s generation have not learned to lower their expectations from Mr. Right to ‘Mr. Will Do’.
Responding to the findings on failing to find the right partner, Reverend Bryan Vernon, senior lecturer in healthcare ethics at Newcastle University, said: ‘If that really is the problem, do you need to think more about how we relate to the people with whom we plan to live for quite a long time?
‘I wonder whether we so emphasize autonomy and freedom of choice, that we are expecting too much of the people who we are going to live with. We think they are going to be perfect and they are not.’
He added: ‘Do we perhaps need to have not quite so high ideas on the kind of person we are going to share our life with?’
Each cycle of egg retrieval costs about $5,000 to $15,000, depending on the center. The cost of the drugs adds another $2,000 to $6,000. And, storage of the eggs can costs between $500 and $1,000 a year after the first year. Women between the ages of 29 and 42. But Inhorn said most — 73 percent — were between 35 and 39. (According to health.usnews.com)
On the debate about finding the right partner, a speaker at the Progress Educational Trust event raised the issue of women’s hunt for Mr. Right.
Quoting from a previous academic paper, Professor David Baird, professor of reproductive endocrinology at the University of Edinburgh, said women could ‘settle from Mr. Right to Mr. Will Do.’
Dr. Sarah Martins Da Silva, a consultant gynecologist at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, said: ‘We are all so imperfect, we are all so fallible, and certainly Mr. Darcy is not for all of us.’
But she also told of one female patient who sought advice on social egg freezing because her partner had an affair, leaving her single and childless at the age of 36.
Dr. Da Silva added: ‘There is also a real demographic of relationships that come and go and break and so on. Perhaps quite rightly she is there thinking, I tried to plan and it didn’t happen, now she is very aware of her biological clock. I think there is another flip side to that coin.’
Speaking after the debate, titled Can Women Put Motherhood On Ice, audience member Rev Vernon said men as well as women can expect too much from a relationship before choosing to have a child together.
He said: ‘I think there probably is an emphasis on a perfect relationship. It is very hard to get an overall picture but there are clearly far more relationship breakdowns now.
‘There are a massive number of factors to that, but one of them might be that we are a bit less tolerant.’
The other factors behind social egg freezing, according to the US study presented by speaker Dr. Angel Petropanagos, are financial considerations and a feeling that having a family is too large a commitment.
Dr. Petropanagos, a research associate at Dalhousie University in Canada, said egg freezing is often represented as a choice for women in their thirties delaying motherhood to pursue their career, but added: ‘What we have heard is that the majority of women who freeze their eggs do not have a partner with whom they would like to have a child.’