Waiting is the new normal: Why more women are freezing their eggs

Many of you may have read today’s front page article in the NY Times on egg freezing.  Although the article focused on parents subsidizing  egg freezing procedures,  I  believe that the monetary angle is not the only one we should look at.

Today’s women are at a cultural and generational crossroads. We have the same career expectations and demands as men.  As our biological clocks tick away, we must establish ourselves in the workplace, find the right mate and become financially secure enough to establish a family.  The process takes time.  As I struggled to gain a secure footing in the workplace, began dating after a divorce and socked away some savings, I soon found myself in my mid-30′s and childless.  And I know that I am not alone.

Roughly 20 percent of women in the United States wait until after they turn 35 to have their first child [1]. In fact, more than 40 percent of women between the ages of 41-45 don’t have children at all [2]. Waiting is the new normal.

Egg freezing and other Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) offer today’s women choices that their mothers did not have.  It is no longer and either or choice when it comes to career and children.  My mother was willing to help pay for my egg freezing procedure not because she is desperate to be a grandmother, but because she is proud of my accomplishments and grateful that I have options that were not available to her when she was my age.  Waiting may be the new normal, but women today are doing so many interesting and productive things while we “wait.”

 

[1] WomensHealth.gov, “Infertility Fact Sheet,” U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office on Women’s Health, 1 July 2009. <http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/infertility.cfm#b>

[2] Center for Work Life Policy, “The X Factor: Tapping into the Strengths of the 33 to 46-year-old Generation,” 16 September 2011. <https://www.worklifepolicy.org/documents/X Factor Press Release final.pdf>

 

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