Blog Post

Freezing Your Daughter's Eggs: The Perfect Gift?

Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

The culture of death continues to sprout new varieties of poisonous fruit. The latest comes from a British doctor who thinks the perfect gift a parent can give  their daughter at graduation is her own frozen eggs to be sure she can have children whenever she wants later in life.

The Daily Mail is reporting that Dr. Gillian Lockwood, of the Midland Fertility Center in England - the place where half of British babies born from frozen eggs originate - is concerned that young women aren't getting the message about the limitations of their own fertility.

"One part of me wants to say that [egg freezing] should be every dad’s graduation present for his daughter. It would be a very safe, low dose, and you could have 20 beautiful eggs in the freezer."

However, she's worried that if a girl knows she has eggs stored in a freezer somewhere, this could affect her life choices and make her decide to wait for the "Mr. Perfect" who never comes to have children.

As more and more women choose to delay childbirth until well into their 30's these days, there is an increasing number who confront the inevitable decline in fertility that occurs naturally as women age. What most of them don't realize, however, is that this infertility is due to the fact that the quality of a woman's eggs deteriorates with age. This is why she believes banking eggs at an early age is a good idea.

"By the time many women decide they want to freeze their eggs, they are often in their late 30s, when their eggs have declined in quality significantly," Dr. Lockwood told the Mail. "I get many calls from women around the age of 38 who want their eggs frozen."

By then, it's often too late.

Rather than encourage women to bear children earlier in life, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), which provides the only fertility clinic oversight in the U.S., is encouraging them to freeze their eggs while in their 20s and 30s to enable them to conceive later in life.

This unnatural solution to the problem has plenty of downsides.

First, for the woman involved, she could be in for a life-altering disappointment if she decides to hedge her bets on frozen eggs.

"Will it mean a woman waits around all her life for Mr Perfect, knowing she has healthy eggs from her 30-year-old self in the freezer, but then becomes bitter because she has rejected all the Mr Pretty Well Good Enoughs and found herself single and childless at 45, with frozen eggs that turned out not to work?" asks Dr. Lockwood.

As for the future offspring of frozen eggs, this is not exactly a sure thing.

Dr Magdy Asaad, clinical director of the London Fertility Centre, told the Mail the chances of getting a baby from a frozen egg are about one to three per cent for each egg.

This is in addition to the fact that only eight out of ten eggs will survive the thawing process with no one really knowing the long-term health risks to the children born from frozen eggs. Some believe the chemicals applied to the egg wall during flash-freezing could potentially damage the egg and resulting offspring.

As for what effect this practice might have on the prevailing culture, it leaves God and His plan for a woman's life out of the equation. It also furthers an increasingly prevalent view of children as commodities, something that a couple has a "right" to have rather than as a unique gift from God - which only serves to devalue human life even further.

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