I read an article today in The Telegraph entitled “warning over last ditch attempts at egg freezing by women in late 30s” and felt obliged to write about it in my blog this week.
Being a woman in my early 30s, who currently has no children and works within the fertility industry, these articles are always of interest to me. Daily I am reminded of my ageing eggs and diminishing ovarian reserve and the constant tick tock of my fertility clock and often wonder whether I should be freezing my eggs given the insight I have. But then, like most people, I think why would I do this if I don’t yet know whether I will have problems with conceiving? This is definitely where knowledge is power but can also be slightly frightening at the same time! I genuinely do love my job and the industry I work within but at times I am overwhelmed by the problems we encounter when trying to do one of the most natural things in the world: become a parent.
At school we are taught about the basics of the birds and the bees, but in actual fact the overwhelming message was not to get pregnant. We are not taught that we women are only born with a finite number of eggs, that our best eggs are released first and that as we age our egg reserve diminishes and more importantly the quality lessens, making it more difficult to conceive later in life. If this information was more readily available, would we change our decision-making process? In my case, probably not as I know what I know but haven’t altered my path as of yet. I do however, believe that it is very important to be taught more about our fertility as it then gives people more information in order to make more informed decisions.
The article in The Telegraph highlights that this knowledge isn’t readily available and often by the time we start thinking about freezing our eggs, we have missed the opportune time to do so. There are many reasons why someone may choose to freeze their eggs; due to health reasons, not having found the right partner, focusing on their career just to name a few but at what stage of our life we freeze them in, can influence the overall outcome when they are used in later life.
Although there are always other options such as the use of donated eggs or adoption, this isn’t necessarily the pathway we would have imagined for ourselves, so feel it is important for these issues to be highlighted.
Holly Scott, Patient and Clinic Liaison Manager
*subject to acceptance on our plan