October 15, 2014

"Egg Freezing as a Work Benefit? Some Women See Darker Message."

Great headline for a column at the NYT by Claire Cain Miller. I hadn't quite yet gotten around to blogging about this new work benefit, which we've just heard is getting under way at Apple and Facebook, and already "some women" have not only detected a "darker message," they've gotten their message out to the general public. "Some women" are always getting the jump on me. I had my perceptions — not dark, but optimistic — and I voiced them, within the confines of this house, and I can't believe that even as I blog so consistently and so earnestly and I'm ever-ready to catch new issues like this and put my opinions instantly right out there on the internet, that "some women" beat me to the punch... if one is allowed to use that expression in this woman-friendly world anymore.

Miller writes:
For women whose circumstances have made it unrealistic to have a baby and who are considering egg freezing, the new benefit is likely to be a highly welcome surprise — even if in some sense it may seem a logical extension of employee-sponsored health plans that already cover pregnancy, childbirth and some infertility treatments.

Yet workplaces could be seen as paying women to put off childbearing. 
Isn't that what the required coverage of birth control also does? Or is the coverage of birth control not really an incentive to put off childbearing, but a trick to ease women unwittingly into a life of childlessness? I hadn't thought so. And if women need to use the young part of their lives to get educated and to advance their careers without sidetracks and distractions, then egg-freezing is exactly the benefit that supports workplace equality.
Women who choose to have babies earlier could be stigmatized as uncommitted to their careers.  Just as tech company benefits like free food and dry cleaning serve to keep employees at the office longer, so could egg freezing, by delaying maternity leave and child-care responsibilities.
But this stigma is already there to the extent that it is, and birth control (not to mention abortion) empowers women to show their commitment to their career by putting off pregnancy. At least the egg-freezing preserves the woman's option to undertake maternity when it finally (if ever) suits her idea of how she wants to live, just like a man. (Cue readers to their favorite sidetrack: Men don't get to choose paternity on their own terms. Here's a clue: Get a vasectomy. Freeze some sperm first.)
Egg freezing is a two-week process involving hormone injections and extraction under sedation, and it takes another two weeks to feel back to normal.... A cycle usually costs $10,000 to $15,000, and many women are encouraged to do more than one cycle to harvest more eggs. Storage costs about $500 a year. Insurance very rarely covers it....
If only you were allowed to sell these eggs, as men can sell their sperm. It's a much bigger deal to extract female genetic material, and there's a big expense that's not there for the men at all. Those costs could be defrayed by allowing sales of some of the extracted eggs. The column goes on to complain about the "class and race divides in egg freezing," because you know "the kind of people who work at Facebook and Apple." This sounds like a set-up for Senate hearings on how egg-extraction, freezing, and storage ought to be included in Obamacare cost-free, like birth control, more spoils for the victors in the war on women.

So maybe conservatives need to get the jump on the Obamacarers and propose a free market in human eggs. With same-sex marriage on the upswing, this should be a seller's market. Everybody wins, no?

97 comments:

Franklin said...

Shocking that some women still aren't happy. Shocking!

rhhardin said...

Imus's Bernard McGuirk speculated that you'd freeze your eggs so that you can still bring home the bacon.

Curious George said...

Just make sure to clearly label the black eggs and the the white egg...don't want some lesbians to sue.

TomHynes said...

Egg sales are close to legal. Here is a good Reason article. http://reason.com/archives/2006/10/01/ova-for-sale

Darrell said...

I had eggs for breakfast this morning.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Hey! I have an idea! Why don't we just extract EVERYBODY'S eggs and sperm before they start working, and then grow the babies in vats? Heck, we could even presort them by genetic heritage and expected IQ... and then maybe slate some of them to be workers, and expose them to toxins while they gestated so only those most able to bear a toxic environment could survive.

We could also have everyone where clothes color-coded for their station in society.

And maybe let people die in a pleasant, druggy haze when they're no longer useful society.

" O brave new world,
That has such people in't!"

What could go wrong?

rhhardin said...

Get Smart (2008) Carrel and Hathaway, DVD caption track

00:23:35 MAX: Since we are going to be portraying husband and wife...

00:23:38 MAX: ...maybe we should get our story set.

00:23:41 99: Okay, good idea.

00:23:44 99: We met at a marketing convention in Vegas. Married a year later. No kids.

00:23:49 99: I like your parents, but you hate mine.

00:23:51 MAX: Do we want kids?

00:23:52 99: Well, you do, but I'm concentrating on my career.

00:23:56 MAX: I don't know if that's fair. I mean, I'm older than you are.

00:23:58 - 99: Well, not by much. - MAX: Really?

00:24:03 99: When they gave me a new face, I had them...

00:24:07 99: ...take a couple years off.

00:24:09 99: You know, why not?

00:24:12 MAX: Well, if that's the case, then you are at an advanced age, and you should be...

00:24:17 99: Well, no. I was never...

00:24:19 MAX: I'm just saying that your eggs could dry up and fall out of your uterus.

00:24:23 MAX: So time is of the essence.

00:24:26 - 99: That's your opinion. - MAX: No, that is a medical fact.

00:24:30 99: There is a lot of time for me to make this decision.

00:24:33 99: I will not be rushed into it by you or my mother.

00:24:35 - MAX: You don't have much time. -

MayBee said...

Egg sales are close to legal. Here is a good Reason article. http://reason.com/archives/2006/10/01/ova-for-sale

Yeah, I was going to say. You can be paid to be an egg donor. I know girls who have considered it.

Terry said...

Did Sandra Fluke want the government to pay for her birth control so she wouldn't miss the joy of menstruation?
The whole idea of female birth control is to delay child bearing. That is why it is called 'birth control' and not 'sterilization'.
We have reached peak stupidity.

Hagar said...

Brave New World.

MayBee said...

This sounds like a set-up for Senate hearings on how egg-extraction, freezing, and storage ought to be included in Obamacare cost-free, like birth control, more spoils for the victors in the war on women.

This is how healthcare costs soar, and we end up with either rationing (as they have in the NHS) or outrages healthcare expenses. Or both.

What? You think fertility-minded women are the only lobby who can push for special coverage?

Henry said...

This is what I think of as the mad lib approach to criticism. If your criticisms are mutable enough, they can apply to anything.

Just reduce the first sentence in the headline to one of two words. Either will work:

"Work? Some Women See Darker Message."

"Benefits? Some Women See Darker Message."

Any type of work or benefit that encourages a person to work falls under equal suspicion.

"High Pay? Some Women See Darker Message."

"Flex Time? Some Women See Darker Message."

To be fair, the word between "some" and "see" is also up for grabs.

Terry said...

Shouldn't the frozen egg become the property of the employer? It's just frozen tissue. Feminists have been telling us for years that just because something has the potential to become a child doesn't mean that it is a child. An egg should be treated no differently than a pulled tooth or a hangnail.

Ann Althouse said...

I know women have been paid to go through the whole extraction and donation process, paid for by an infertile couple, but I'm talking about funding the extraction and storage process for women who want their own eggs for (possible) future use, but selling off some of them, putting them in an egg bank that could be sold the way sperm is sold.

I don't know if that's been going on, has it?

Bob Boyd said...

Its not having the baby that's a career killer so much as having to raise it.
So why not get the pregnancy out of the way while you're young and strong, then freeze the kid until you're at a point in your career where have time to devote to parenting?
Just make sure the package is clearly marked so there isn't a mix-up at Thanksgiving, right? That would suck.

Anonymous said...

In the society of The Vagina as Fascist State reproduction is abstracted away from the simplest form of procreation: sex. In The Vagina as Fascist State the primary desired result of sex is abortion, as the body is to be denied to the restructuring of society.

The freezing of eggs is a chimera: its purpose is to convince women that there will always be another time -- later, later -- in which to procreate; once the procrastination is absorbed as the natural state it becomes ever-so-more difficult to willfully make a decision otherwise.

Indeed, there is an even darker aspect to this: the feminists of The Vagina as Fascist State actively encourage women to abstain from reproduction -- wait, abort, wait -- while hedging their own bets, as the richest of the feminist order know -- in the dark night of their souls -- that if they find themselves older and childless and realize they have made a mistake they still have the financial opportunities to rectify the situation medically: the 52-year-old rich feminist with a change of heart is thus able to have the luxury of second-thought that will be denied to the masses that listened and waited past the expiration date.

With this in mind, it is not to be unexpected that sex in The Vagina as Fascist State is debased to casual fellatio in Victoria's Secret underwear and rough anal sex on futons: the young feminist becomes a receptacle for men's wild oats, as men reserve the right to remove all love and -- in parallel -- save it for a later date.

Renee said...

Or let babies come from sex and support a mother and father be good parents.

You want help people in the workplace balance family life (this includes elderly relatives/pets/civic community duties) SHORTEN THE COMMUTE!!!


Would you trade your cul de sac, for a neighborhood street. Would you trade acreage? Would you trade your two car garage?

Oh and suburban office parks along the highway.

Shopping/business zoning far away from homes making it unwalkable.


How much of our lives are spent commuting?

Seriously freezing eggs. Selling your gamates to strangers to create/raise your children.


My God, we are beyond f*cked up aren't we?

mccullough said...

Reminds me of Ted Williams frozen head.

southcentralpa said...

(You've expressed enough reservations about the incumbent President that you'll never, ever, ever be elected PFLAG Parent of the Year. Just FYI.)

(In as much as you continue to stay (just barely) on the reservation, you will be allowed to use "beat to the punch". If you were ever to, e.g., register as a Republican, your using that phrase would then become "The worst thing EVAH !1!!eleventy!!!")

That having been said, being told (albeit tacitly) that "No, in fact, you CAN'T have it all" is a "darker message"? How much of a group of delicate flowers are we dealing with, anyhow ...?

Renee said...

If employers are paying for birth control, do they know if you or your spouse is using it?

We use natural family planning, my primary and gym knows. But is there someone in human resources tallying data on which families of employees are doing what?

Gahrie said...

Why not? More free shit for women!

Meade said...

"Just make sure the package is clearly marked so there isn't a mix-up at Thanksgiving, right? That would suck."

Also -- the repurposing of repurposed turkey basters.

Some see darker message in white meat.

RecChief said...

"We have reached peak stupidity."

I've said that a dozen times in the last few years and something always comes along that reaches a new level and causes me to say it again. I don't think we've achieved actual peak stupidity yet.

Lyssa said...

Hey, I'm "some women" here! I expressed this concern yesterday at Slate - that I would be very apprehensive about getting pregnant while working somewhere that was offering to pay thousands of dollars to "allow" me to put it off.

I do not think that the comparison to birth control is apt. Birth control is easy, cheap, and commonplace. Most women use it at some point in their lives, paid for or not. Egg extraction and freezing, on the other hand, is a major ordeal and extremely expensive. It's also very unreliable. I can take the pill for years and then stop it and be fairly well-assured of getting pregnant no problem, while egg freezing for extended viability has a very low success rate (I've seen numbers around 30% - I definitely wouldn't count on it, and it seems like a false sense of security.)

MisterBuddwing said...

I used to think it was a real rip that women eventually reach an age when they can no longer bear children.

Until I read about a 34-year-old woman whose mother had her at the age of 46.

A 34-year-old woman with an 80-year-old mother.

I guess sometimes, Mother Nature gets it right.

madAsHell said...

Frosty will become a very popular nick-name.

cubanbob said...

Ann Althouse said...
I know women have been paid to go through the whole extraction and donation process, paid for by an infertile couple, but I'm talking about funding the extraction and storage process for women who want their own eggs for (possible) future use, but selling off some of them, putting them in an egg bank that could be sold the way sperm is sold.

I don't know if that's been going on, has it?

10/15/14, 9:28 AM"

Could this put the egg donor in the same position some sperm donors are in in terms of financial support or being identified as the biological parent at some future point?

Terry said...

I don't see that this is much different, from the woman's point of View, than taking the pill during college to avoid pregnancy temporarily, then marrying just after college and having a kid or two.
Other than the mechanics of the procedure, of course.

Renee said...

MisterBudding,

The nice thing about parents being younger is getting help from grandparents. I'm the youngest of the youngest on both sides. 3 out of 4 passed away before I was born, and my much older cousins had a much difference experience then I had.

MayBee said...

I know women have been paid to go through the whole extraction and donation process, paid for by an infertile couple, but I'm talking about funding the extraction and storage process for women who want their own eggs for (possible) future use, but selling off some of them, putting them in an egg bank that could be sold the way sperm is sold.

One huge difference is the number of sperm produced per harvest vs. the number of eggs produced per harvest.
So if you want to keep some for yourself and sell some, you are risking not having enough eggs to produce a viable baby. (say you produce an extraordinary number of eggs, 20. Some of them will be succesfuly fertilized, some of those fertilized will be implanted, some of those implanted will become viable pregnancies. If no successful pregnancy results, you need to go around again)

Bob Boyd said...

Happiness is a baster full of baby batter.
I think I saw that on a Hallmark card one time.
It had Lucy and that kid that plays the piano. What's his name? Shredder? Something like that.

cubanbob said...

"RecChief said...
"We have reached peak stupidity."

I've said that a dozen times in the last few years and something always comes along that reaches a new level and causes me to say it again. I don't think we've achieved actual peak stupidity yet.

10/15/14, 9:38 AM"

How will we know when we reach peak stupidity? Will there horns blaring and lights flashing GAME OVER!?

ScottD said...

Frozen eggs, frozen hearts.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Renee said...

We use natural family planning, my primary and gym knows.

Planet Fitness?

Renee said...

Oops gynecologist..

Kevin said...

"Cue readers to their favorite sidetrack: Men don't get to choose paternity on their own terms. Here's a clue: Get a vasectomy. Freeze some sperm first."

Works for women too! "Here's a clue: Tie your tubes. Freeze some eggs first."

I doubt that would go over well if we told women that's what they should do if they want maternity on their own terms. But for men, this should suffice.

Renee said...

@ScottD

Sex is disgusting, anyways. Right?

MayBee said...

Here is Donor Egg Bank USA

rehajm said...

So maybe conservatives need to get the jump on the Obamacarers and propose a free market in human eggs. With same-sex marriage on the upswing, this should be a seller's market. Everybody wins, no?

Actually this problem is close to being solved.

Michael said...

Does the egg extraction require mutual consent that is articulated, documented, throughout the process and then does the extractee have the right to claim later, months or years later, that the extraction was not, in fact, agreed and that a rape occurred?

Michael said...

Does the egg extraction require mutual consent that is articulated, documented, throughout the process and then does the extractee have the right to claim later, months or years later, that the extraction was not, in fact, agreed and that a rape occurred?

FWBuff said...

"Storage costs about $500 a year. Insurance rarely covers it..."

So an employee has her eggs extracted and frozen. What happens when she leaves Apple or Facebook in a couple of years for another company that doesn't provide that benefit?

MayBee said...

This article says the number of eggs that produces the optimal chance (40%) of live birth is 15, which is at the high end of what is typically harvested. 20 eggs generally means the ovaries are overstimulated, which is a painful condition.

In order to harvest some and also donate some, you'd have to produce 30 eggs for optimal result.

Quaestor said...

Why stop at human eggs? If you can sell an ovum, why not an embryo? How about a full-grown adult? Gays should have the right to enjoy family life without all the bother. Children do tend to dampen the party, don't they?

Andrew said...

Only the best veterinarian medicine for America's women.

Anglelyne said...

And if women need to use the young part of their lives to get educated and to advance their careers without sidetracks and distractions, then egg-freezing is exactly the benefit that supports workplace equality.

If "workplace equality" requires women to forego childbearing in their natural reproductive years, and intrusive high-tech "fixes" that provide a (very iffy) shot at eventually, maybe being able to have a family (and its not like this is an easy-breezy process without lots of greatly increased risk of physical problems for both mother and child, if it works at all), then I would think that any non-insane person would want to re-evaluate their ideas about "equality".

Funny how "progressivism", which at one time at least pretended to critique the dehumanization of workers by corporatism and "economism", is so fully on board these days with the complete reduction of worker to widget. Well, at least for corporations like AAPL and not something uncool like MCD or XOM, I guess.

Anonymous said...

As stated before, in the society of The Vagina as Fascist State the vagina is denied its function in reproduction: is it not a possibility that evolution will eventually devolve the vagina into an orifice smaller than a nostril, used only for the evacuation of liquids?

As anal sex usage increases will the increased amount of sperm in the rectum signal the body to adapt, and thus the rectum joins the uterus as the new birth canal? Are anal babies the children of the future?

Through abortion we already see fetuses as waste material: will the natural order of things become that babies are excreted as such waste material, and it is up to the mother whether to nurture or flush? The future never waits.

CStanley said...

"Everybody wins, no?"

Generally when we try to create a situation where "everyone wins" the result is that no one wins. I see no reason that this would be an exception.

chillblaine said...

"Everybody wins, no?"

This is unclear. Egg harvesting requires hormone injections. Where are the long-term studies on the safety of this? Either way, shouldn't be done for the sake of convenience, but for legitimate medical reasons.

CStanley said...

@MisterBuddwing (9:38 am): that will basically be me and my youngest daughter in 30 years.

Michael said...

Do Apple and Facebook place trigger warnings on those communications on this sensitive topic? Some women have and continue to have trouble with fertility and it is this very kind of action that is a real but subtle battle in the on-going and vicious war on women. If they haven't they should.

Hagar said...

How does a woman in her sixties deal with a teenage daughter?

How does a teenage girl deal with a mother brought up in a long past world?

Renee said...

@Hagar

How many grandparents are raising grandchildren?

More then a few.

Henry said...

@Lyssa -- That's a well-voiced objection.

I would suggest that the egg freezing benefit is akin to unpaid family leave: A benefit whose multiplicity of ramifications will result in the rarity of its use.

Yet, it is still a benefit, and potentially a quite valuable one to those employees that turn to it.

Anonymous said...

RE: "How does a woman in her sixties deal with a teenage daughter?

How does a teenage girl deal with a mother brought up in a long past world?"

It will be up to men of a moderate, experienced age to guide young women into the ways of the modern world.

Biff said...

I'm starting to think that there might be a silver lining in an ebola pandemic.

Ann Althouse said...

"So why not get the pregnancy out of the way while you're young and strong, then freeze the kid until you're at a point in your career where have time to devote to parenting? Just make sure the package is clearly marked so there isn't a mix-up at Thanksgiving, right? That would suck."

Reminds me of the old urban legend from the heyday of LSD. The turkey's in the oven!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...So maybe conservatives need to get the jump on the Obamacarers and propose a free market in human eggs.

That only works if you don't believe religious conservatives when they say their objections to such a market are based on their deeply-held views regarding the sanctity of human life. Selling eggs (and using embryos for research, etc) runs counter to those beliefs in a way that a market for organs, say, does not. My guess would be that fertilized eggs would definitely run afoul of those beliefs, but I'm not sure about unfertilized eggs (nor do I know how most feel about sperm donation).
Non-religious libertarians may or may not have a problem with an egg market but they certainly support a market for organs.

You're not suggesting that conservatives who would oppose such a market should just "get over it" nor that they don't really believe the things they say they do w/r/t conception/life issues, do you?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Althouse said...Cue readers to their favorite sidetrack: Men don't get to choose paternity on their own terms. Here's a clue: Get a vasectomy. Freeze some sperm first.)

Obviously not a bad suggestion--and Obamacare will cover both the procedure (which is elective) and the sperm storage fees, etc, right? Gotta be fair, afterall.

Anonymous said...

It is anal babies all the way down.

Christy said...

Maybe 15 years ago blue-eyed high IQ eggs were going for $60,000.

We are born with all our eggs. How cool is that! So Mom had me in her when she was born, and Grandma, and her Grandma....

Renee said...

What about the children, when they grow up.

What if they object and and rights and stuff.....

"The Convention acknowledges that every child has certain basic rights, including the right to life, his or her own name and identity, to be raised by his or her parents within a family or cultural grouping, and to have a relationship with both parents, even if they are separated."

Quaestor said...

The turkey's in the oven!

It seems that the difference between the mythical 60s baby broilers and the real 21st century child irradiators is a sense of humor.

Terry said...

Reminds me of the old urban legend from the heyday of LSD. The turkey's in the oven!

TRIGGER WARNING PLEASE!

gerry said...

Some see darker message in white meat.

Well, turkeys have been genetically modified through breeding practices to have enormous breasts that are all white meat. Drier, leaner, less tasty white meat, as opposed to juicier, fattier, tastier dark meat.

Is there a darker message in enormous white breasts?

Titus? Crack?

Quaestor said...

Is there a darker message in enormous white breasts?

Yup.

David said...

For women whose circumstances have made it unrealistic to have a baby and who are considering egg freezing, the new benefit is likely to be a highly welcome surprise

A present!! Ooh, I just love presents!

David said...

"We have reached peak stupidity."

The universe is infinite.

Bob Boyd said...

"The turkey's in the oven!"

Hippies. Whadda ya gonna do?
I hope the kid had life insurance.

Bob Boyd said...

@ Quaestor

Holy Smoke!
There's enough silicone there to caulk a supertanker.

Clayton Hennesey said...

If Google or Amazon were doing this I'd just assume it was for the future clone farm.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...With same-sex marriage on the upswing, this should be a seller's market. Everybody wins, no?

I wonder if your gloss on the economics of that change really holds up. Selling a few eggs to pay for the expensive egg-harvesting procedure works as long as the price for the eggs sold is high enough. Both opening the market up generally and having insurance or O'care pay for the procedure would likely result in an increase in supply (a shift of the supply curve to the right). Ceteris paribus that would result in a lower equilibrium price for eggs--if that price was too low enough to not cover the cost of the procedure then you've got a problem. Obviously you could argue that the market changes would serve to lower the cost of the procedure (with more clinics, competition, etc) and/or that with legal changes re:gay marriage you'd expect an increase in the quantity demanded and possibly of demand, but the relative elasticities will likely not make it possible to see an increase in the equilibrium clearing quantity much higher without a drop in price (clinics take a long time to build, there just aren't that many gay couples, etc).

A more fundamental problem wiht this analysis is that it ignores the stratification that would exist in a market for eggs (assuming it roughly parallels the market for sperm). To be a seller's market youd have to have strong demand for the product. But stong demand likely exists only for top-of-the-line eggs (just as it does only "rare" sperm). An egg buyer will likely be unwilling to buy an average egg--the buyer will want to select for traits/genetic material that are rare and exceptional. This is why sperm banks will pay only for certain men's sperm--buyers are looking for material only from men taller, smarter, fitter than average, etc, and will pay more for rare but desirable traits like green eyes or very high IQs. The average man is not able to sell his sperm to a for-profit bank because of a lack of demand. I don't see why the same wouldn't be true for women/eggs, notwithstanding the fact that harvesting any egg is more expensive.

Anonymous said...

Where have I heard this before? I thought a John Lennon interview I read once, maybe, but it was actually Yoko Ono making a pro-family point back in 1980:

ONO: "It's a hard realization {to prioritize family above all else}. These days, the society prefers single people. The encouragements are to divorce or separate or be single or gay... whatever.

Corporations want singles-- they work harder if they don't have family ties. They don't have to worry about being home in the evenings or on the weekends. There's not much room for emotions about family or personal relationships. You know, the whole thing they say to women approaching 30 that if you don't have a baby in the next few years, you're going to be in trouble, you'll never be a mother, so you'll never be fulfilled in that way and...

So instead of the society discouraging children, since they are important for society, it should encourage them. It's the responsibility of everybody. But it is hard. A woman has to deny what she has, her womb, if she wants to make it. It seems that only the privileged classes can have families. Nowadays, maybe it's only the McCartneys and the Lennons or something."

LENNON: "Everybody else becomes a worker/consumer."

ONO: "The society will do away with the roles of men and women. Babies will be born in test tubes and incubators..."

LENNON: "Then it's Aldous Huxley."

ONO: "But we don't have to go that way. We don't have to deny any of our organs, you know."

n.n said...

"The Hypocritic Oath" is a libertine cultural standard, which normalizes medical corruption of healthy bodies and tissue. The government, and its private affiliates, have a compelling reason to ensure that surviving women and men perform in taxable activities. The unwanted clumps of cells will be harvested and recycled for embryonic and fetal stem cell therapy.

Brian said...

"I'm talking about funding the extraction and storage process for women who want their own eggs for (possible) future use, but selling off some of them, putting them in an egg bank that could be sold the way sperm is sold.

I don't know if that's been going on, has it?"

Behaviors around egg-freezing (as opposed to embryo freezing) are still very new and rapidly evolving; the question of what "has been going on" is sort of irrelevant.

That said: I find the scenario you lay out unlikely. Attrition in the first few days around fertilization is extreme. I have two daughters, both conceived by IVF. I can't seem to put my finger on the exact numbers for my oldest, but here's how it went with the younger:

21 eggs recovered.
14 successfully fertilized.
7 embryos survived to Day 5.
2 were transferred on Day 5.
-->1 live birth from this transfer.
5 were frozen on Day 5.
3 survived the freezing/thawing and were transferred later (in two separate FET cycles).
1 miscarriage, 0 live births from the FETs.

In other words: 21 eggs --> one baby.

This is not uncommon. In fact it's a good result; our doc describes us as "ideal" patients, and we are in the age/health block with the highest likelihood of success for IVF.

Which is to say: if you're going to the trouble of having eggs harvested for your own future use, you had better get as many as you can and hoard them all to yourself. The one you sell might be the only one that counts.

Alex said...

just another slap in the face to traditional families. It's Apple & Facebook saying "we celebrate turkey baster moms as much as those who have done it by God's will".

Alex said...

John Lennon was a psuedo-intellectual twat who got glommed onto by an even bigger psuedo-intellectual twat.

Anonymous said...

@alex

Looking past your bias, can you refute her point? You two seem to be in agreement on this issue.

I think perhaps she had early insight into privilege and how the corporate priorities will bleed you coming from a monied background herself, rather than just repeating cant.

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't see a whole lot of choice here, until and if we completely reorganize society. The best and the brightest of our young women are in school throughout much of their prime childbearing years. And, to some extent,they are give the choice of a serious boyfriend and the best in education. Yes, it is possible to do med school, law school, PhDs, or even undergraduate education married and starting a family. But it is far harder, and much harder to excel in.

Women being at their peak in childbearing in their maybe late teens made sense in a time when most were illiterate, and life expectancy was in the maybe lower 40s. And that is our underlying physiology still. But most professional and PhDs will take you into your latter 20s, and a residency maybe past 30. And that is why this technology is important.

As an aside, I think that the women that we want reproducing are the brightest and best educated, as contrasted with the girls who start in thei mid-teens today, because that is all they know (and Daddy Obama has promised them that they will be taken care of). I want those women getting the advanced degrees, etc, to reproduce. Not only do they help our national gene pool, they also, collectively, increase our national wealth, while their sisters getting pregnant in their teens rarely do.

DKWalser said...

Raising kids is best done in one's youth. It requires a lot of energy! A friend of mine remarried in his late forties. (He was a widower.) He had his first child when he was 45. I cannot imagine what it would be like going on monthly campouts with my son and sleeping on the ground at age 57.

jono39 said...

I well remember the really bad old days when the Harvard Health Service checked Radcliffe ladies into the Mass General for appendectomies, to rid them of their foetuses. In 1961 or 1962 they began distributing Enovid which made Harvard Square a paradise as the great Sex Drought of the 50s dissolved. Now abortion has become a form of birth control which is heartbreaking although the alternatives are all worse.
Making the Government responsible for "protecting" the rights of anyone has become a huge racket which we must end by reestablishing citizenship as the one indivisible right. The State we created in 1946 is now a huge burden on all of us. We need to create a national conversation that will lead to a Constitutional Convention in a decade or so. We need to refound the Republic and cut the Federal Government down by more than 50 percent,

Anonymous said...

Yet workplaces could be seen as paying women to put off childbearing.

Isn't that what the required coverage of birth control also does? Or is the coverage of birth control not really an incentive to put off childbearing, but a trick to ease women unwittingly into a life of childlessness?


Oh! Ann FTW! I'd never even thought of that.

PB Reader said...

Soon, they'll pay for surrogate mothers to perform the pregnancy for the menopausal employees. Gotta keep the productivity up! Women don't want to have to be seen as different from men in any way!

PB Reader said...

Soon they'll be paying for plastic surgery that used to be considered optional.

carrie said...

I agree that it is trick to ease women unwittingly into a life of childlessness. We will soon have lots of childless women who will become bitter in their retirement as they discover that their former job, no matter how fulfilling it was while they were working, does not fill their retirement hours with joy like children do. People are usually shocked at how easily they can be replaced at work when they retire and how they drop quickly out of their former co-workers' lives. It's hard to replace a mother in a child's heart. Having kids post menopause is a very selfish solution to the loneliness, in my opinion. I waited until my very late 30s to have kids, and I regret not having them when I was younger. I am ok with women in their early 40s having kids, but I don't think that women in their 50s should be allowed to have kids because it is not fair to the kids.

Anglelyne said...

Bruce Hayden @10/15/14, 11:18 AM:

Those are all good points, Bruce, but you're assuming the technology simply allows women to have kids at 40 just like they would at 24. Even leaving aside the inadvisability of deliberately choosing old-age parenting (and that matters for men as well as women), that's not the case, for a host of medical reasons.

If we really want our "best and brightest" women reproducing (and we do), then it makes a great deal more sense to reconsider whether demanding that they adhere to a career trajectory that just pretends that they're men is wise. (To make just one observation, most women in their prime reproductive years want to be mothers, and that's going to set up a psychological tension that's going to affect what are supposed to be career-focused years.)

This doesn't mean "no serious careers for women!" but it does mean that we ditch the silly belief that, in a properly-ordered world, half of all positions in demanding jobs would be filled by women. (That probably wouldn't happen, even if we could magically remove all the demands of child-bearing and child-rearing). Or that no careers, by their nature, have demands that really aren't compatible with maternity.

Of course, you'd have to concede that motherhood mattered, and was best undertaken well before middle-age, and not just something that stupid prole bints did before they were 40...and maybe, just maybe, that it means something more than a fungible temp job that could be contracted out to some surrogate somewhere by two gay guys 'cause a child don't need no steenkin' mother anymore than it needs a father. But we're not going to concede that, so bring on the vats!

Joe said...

This is an expensive procedure. Do men get a cash benefit?

Here's a revolutionary idea--make health insurance a la carte with premiums based on risk and desired benefits!

Anonymous said...

Do these companies also offer parental leave should the woman make use of her company-funded frozen eggs? No? Or will it not matter since she'll have been downsized by the time she hits her mid-30s?

Then, yes, overall, that is a dark message. However, it reflects societal values as a whole. Many many people think it should be run like that or their portfolios will decrease in value. Or we'll fall behind China - and then their portfolios will decrease in value.

Side note: it's hard to believe frozen eggs work though I know they do. I know meat is vastly inferior after being frozen even one day.

Beldar said...

Prof. Althouse writes, "Or is the coverage of birth control not really an incentive to put off childbearing, but a trick to ease women unwittingly into a life of childlessness?"

But most health insurance plans also cover elective vasectomies. They don't cover vasectomies because they're noble; they do it because it's cheaper than adding more dependents to the plan. My insurer paid 100% without blink or question, and actually I've told the story before here in your comments section a couple of years ago.

Renee said...

@Beldar

Well, there is a surplus of lawyers.

(Read his link)

n.n said...

Interesting proposition: genocide or corruption. Women and girls must really be addicted to money, sex, and ego gratification. Is there a third way?

Anonymous said...

@ann althouse

A friend of mine who is about your age looked into that in her 30s, but not on the company dime.

Bruce Hayden said...

Anglelyne - no disagreements here. I like your point that we are treating the career paths of women as if they were men. But here is what I see as part of the problem. For the most part, it is pretty hard for women to go back and finish their educations and start careers once they start having children, until the kids are well along. Which probably means that women who do delay their careers for childrearing are a decade or so behind their contemporaries who are men, in terms of their careers, and never really catch up, in terms of pay and advancement. You can see this in the equal pay claims by feminists - that 78% or whatever figure is a result of a lot of things! but one of the big ones for professional, etc. women is that apples are compared to oranges, with men inevitably having worked more hours for more years.

I just haven't seen that many women who could do it all. My partner graduated from college at 21, got married, and had her first kid 9 months later. She didn't get back to school until her 30s, when her youngest was in middle school. On the flip side, most of the women I have known professionally went the other way, and had fertility problems because they waited so long. When I was in a large firm, I was surprised how often things like IVF and other fertility treatments were utilized by the female attorneys there. It appears much harder to get hired as an associate at larger firms if you haven't followed the traditional straight through plan (with a gap year or so, but no more). This is across the board, male and female, but probably affects more women.

I am just suggesting that this is a subject that needs to be addressed, but paying women more than they are worth, in comparison to men, is not the answer. Maybe the answer, with longer and longer working lives, is to decouple age from pay and advancement more. And we may be seeing this going on with males now, many of whom appear to be playing through their 20s, before settling down. This may provide soon breathing space for women to have their kids early, and not suffer permanently in the job market as a result. Still, the best and the brightest I know of recent female college grads all seem to be delaying their families for graduate school, and the like. Of the Summas in my kid's class, 2/3 were women, and I think almost every one is now in grad school.

Anonymous said...

A friend was on track to be a partner at a law firm. She had small children and was basically told to deprioritize them or get out. This was in uber liberal NoCal in an area of law that attracts progressives. She said, "Did you hear what you just said?"

Luckily, my bil who had quit the same firm for similar reasons and rather successfully gone solo (much to the envy of his peers) asked her to join him. She got all the time off she needed to be with her kids, and here is the point: IT ALL WENT VERY WELL. Humane values and success are not incompatible after all as it turns out.

Anonymous said...

Another possible solution is to cut some years off the lower levels of education for smart girls - the type who will end up in these professions. Girls are generally more mature at a younger age. In recognition of this and the complete brain-rotting waste of time that several years of junior high / high school are to some people, free them. Make customized separate tracks easily accessible that give them a few years leeway if they should want it. They will have more time to get established and have kids. They could even have kids in their gap years or just after college. Then offer societal support or, at the very least, don't penalize them for it. Not hard really.

It's naturally done in more blue collar professions. No one cares if you are the youngest, baddest dental hygienist on the block.

southcentralpa said...

Quaestor: life finally catches up with Garrison Keillor (his story "Lifestyle" in the collection We Are Still Married).

Still awaiting a tobacco-chewing woman second baseman, tho' ...

Anonymous said...

They used to offer "family housing" at colleges back when college was more male and those males got married at a younger age. They could to the same for females with kids.

And once upon a time, dorm rooms came with a personal assistant to tend to your more minor needs. That could also be brought back on the private university level, at least, with a female/babies orientation.