As women age, so do our eggs. From an evolutionary perspective, this makes sense. We have to carry the pregnancy and presumably should be healthy enough to do so. Therefore, nature has built our biological clock into our eggs rather than the uterus. Mother nature did not know that we would maintain our health and live much longer lives.
And it needs to start before age 35.
As a fertility specialist, one of the most common sentiments I hear is, "I was careful my whole life not to get pregnant and now that I am ready, I can't believe it is this difficult!" Contrary to what your high school sex ed teacher would have had you believe, the chances of pregnancy with intercourse are not 100 per cent every month.
Like the cost.
Instead of accusing women of prioritizing career over family, perhaps we should acknowledge that it is simply more challenging nowadays for many women to find a life partner during their fertile years. For that reason alone, I applaud companies for providing women with the opportunity to expand their control over their fertility.
The recent news that actress Sofia Vergara is facing a lawsuit from her ex-fiancé over the fate of their frozen embryos is shining a light on the embryo freezing process. If a couple separates and fails to agree on what to do with their frozen embryos, a lengthy and emotionally taxing legal battle could ensue. However, if only eggs are frozen over the course of a relationship, and that relationship ends, there is no dispute over who the eggs belong to and who controls their fate.
What causes early menopause or premature ovarian aging? This unique situation may occur from lifestyle factors, medical treatment or genetic predisposition. Early menopause can also be the result of an autoimmune disease.
Egg freezing has sparked widespread media interest after Apple and Facebook recently announced they would cover the cost of the fertility procedure up to $20,000. This caused some serious debate. Some interpreted this as the tech giants' way of giving women more of a choice around career and starting a family; others saw this as a chauvinistic attempt to recruit and retain female employees. To further understand why this is such a contentious issue, here is some background information on the procedure and how it applies to Canadians.
The concept of egg donation is novel to many. For most women over 40, it is difficult to conceive. Some undergo infertility treatments with their own eggs but these days, many conceive through the use of an egg donor. Since it is a private matter, most women do not share the struggles of conception, making it a taboo subject. The invention of egg donation as a procedure was revolutionary in terms of helping couples, who for varying reasons would never have had the ability to create a family. Technology will continue to advance, creating new options for families looking for solutions. But in the meantime, we can all help by staying informed and sharing each others' stories in hopes that one day, fertility troubles will be an issue of the past.