Moral and ethical concerns around social egg freezing have been a hot topic in the recent years. What we need to ask ourselves is:
Will the right time to have a baby ever come?
Will women be able to conceive when the time comes?
Consider the following arguments when you think of having your eggs cryopreserved.
Autonomy and Justice
The new technique of oocyte cryopreservation allows women to preserve their future fertility in a safer way. If we think about what happened with the contraceptive pill – women gained freedom. But, what about with egg freezing? Women will gain more freedom and will have better chances to plan the suitable time of their motherhood.
Girls will have more time to look for the right partner, to focus on their careers, or on any other life events. Moreover, by preserving their eggs and delaying their fertility window, gender equality and justice against men will be achieved.
There is not enough data about the use of frozen eggs later in life. Therefore, it is not right to insist on the fact that the risks involved in such techniques are high. So far, the risks for the child and the mother aren’t much higher if it is compared with the natural conception or with the IVF treatments. If this treatment would cause a serious harm to the mother or the child, wouldn’t have been prohibited by now? also wouldn’t be safer to do the IVF treatment with your own genetic younger eggs?
Some people are worried about having the children orphaned early in life but, society has witnessed men become fathers in their 50s or 60s! In general, egg freezing is used by women who are afraid of not finding the right partner before their fertility starts to decline. Means more or less before their 45thbirthday. Or, it could be the case when woman is married to a younger partner.
Can we really predict the exact time when someone will pass away? No.
How many women deliver babies in their late 20s and unfortunately leaving them motherless?
In western societies, women’s life expectancy is 80 years on average. From a more pragmatic point of view, it will give the children a good 40 years with their mothers, if they were to conceive at the age of 40.
Overall, being able to have a child is never guaranteed, even if you start trying in your 20s. Nowadays, the technique of freezing oocytes ensures a higher probability of future success and the trend is getting even better. Perhaps, what society needs is to start considering new approaches towards gender equality and women empowerment.
Source: Weber-Guskar, E. (2017) Debating social egg freezing: arguments from phases of life. Springer.