The grim truth about egg-freezing

Eliza Mondegreen

This week, Vox correspondent Anna North reported on the "failed promise of egg-freezing" in a deeply researched piece exploring the high hopes and uncertain returns of this fertility preservation method.

To make a long story short: the egg-freezing industry sold women a false sense of security at a high price, with many shelling out tens of thousands of dollars in the hopes of having a child someday -- but not today.

The advertising pitch for freezing your eggs is seductive: you can (and will) have everything. You don't have to choose between having a career and having a family. You don't have to settle for a man. One company promised that freezing eggs could "freeze time" itself.

But nothing can freeze time, and even the prospect of simply freezing eggs turned out to be more complicated in practice than in theory, as North points out: "The process can fail at many points [...] the ovaries may not produce enough eggs, the eggs may not survive the freezing process, they may not fertilize properly, or the fertilized embryos may not implant in the uterus." As a result, some women saw their investments turn to nothing and found themselves scrambling for alternatives. Some missed the opportunity to ever have the families they dreamed of having.

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