This is 38 year old Lesley Major. In an interview on the weekend, she explained how she had frozen 14 eggs to give herself a bit more time to have children.
It cost $3000, was extremely difficult and painful and there are no guarantees that it will even work. The fact she was even able to do it makes her unusual. Many women assume you can just freeze eggs for use later if you want to but that's actually not true.
Most fertility clinics do not offer this service to single women unless they are facing a serious medical issue like cancer where radiotherapy or chemotherapy could render them infertile.
The success rate is low for creating embryos with frozen eggs because eggs are not nearly as robust as sperm which freezes – and defrosts – far more successfully. And the process of egg extraction – as any woman who has had IVF will tell you IN DETAIL – is excrutiating. Weeks of hormone injections and then the extraction itself which is not pleasant.
Not quite as easy as a man going into a room with a magazine and a cup for sperm donation….
It's an interesting piece and worth reading. It talks about the issue of 'social infertility' – women who don't get to have kids not because of any medical reason but because they simply run out of time and their eggs expire. It happens.
And so many young women – and even women in their 30s – are utterly shocked to learn that getting pregnant, when you're ready, is not a given. Just because you are healthy and fit and don't look your age…well, nothing can change the age of your eggs. According to this story:
One in seven babies in Australia is now born to first-time
mothers aged over 35 and it has become more accepted for women to
take longer to choose a life partner. But this cultural shift has
caused many to believe medicine will save them when they start a
family in their late 30s or early 40s, says Warren DeAmbrosis, a
director of Queensland Fertility Group. His clinic claims to have
had more pregnancies from frozen eggs than any other in Australia,
with a 70 per cent post-thaw survival rate, a 60 per cent
fertilisation rate and a 30 per cent pregnancy rate for women under
"I spend most of my day with women in tears because they have
left their run too late – my heart goes to them," Dr DeAmbrosis
says. "Obviously having frozen eggs is better than having no eggs
at all, but they need to know that age is the biggest factor in
infertility by a mile. If I have a single girl come to me at 39 or
40, it's just not worth her while."
I know many women who are starting to worry they may miss out on having kids because they just haven't found the right person and they're heading towards 40 or are past it. I know others whose fertility window has closed before they could jump through it.
But contraray to the cliche, I don't know many – actually any – women who knowingly put off having children for their career. Does this happen? Maybe it does but the stereotype of the woman who 'forgets' to have a baby is horribly unfair when applied to women who never forgot, just didn't have anyone in their life at the right time to make a baby with….
Lesley, the woman in the article, says she has set herself a
deadline of 42 to find a suitable partner before discarding the
"I'm not the type of person who will have kids just because I
can. I want a family of my own, a husband, a father. I'm the
complete romantic so if I don't find the right person within the
next few years, I'll let the eggs go. For now, though, I sometimes
forget I have them until the bill arrives and I think, 'Ah, a
postcard from my kids saying, Mum, please send money.' "