For years, we've been hearing from everyone about our rapidly dwindling fertility, about how we're waiting too long, how we're running out of options, and on and on. But there wasn't much talk about what we should do about it—other than panic, of course. Well, now suddenly egg freezing is all we've got on our collective brain. It's the newest thing we have fret about: Is it worth it? Can you afford it? How the hell does one even do it? You'll be relieved to know that, as with practically every other fertility-related issue, egg freezing now has its own dedicated website: Eggsurance.com. Seriously.
The website was created by Brigitte Adams. What does she know about egg freezing, you might wonder. Well, this is how Time describes her:
Brigitte Adams has chosen baby names for her future son or daughter. She's already got a copy of Goodnight Moon to read to her unborn child. But that baby isn't even a zygote yet. It's a dream on ice, one of 11 eggs that Adams froze last year at the age of 38, with babies on the brain but Mr. Right nowhere in sight.
Wow, that makes those of us who can barely get it together to get our annual gynecological exam look like real fertility slouches. Anyway, Adams has done the legwork with Eggsurance in order to encourage those of us who are aging out of our fertility window at the speed of light to consider freezing our eggs. (God, even just typing that makes me jumpy.) As Adams says of fertility in the 30s and 40s, we're like Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner: "You're racing down, and all of a sudden the cliff drops." Ahhh,—oops, just feel off my chair! Okay, I'm back.
She says that even though we're bombarded with warnings about our declining fertility, we aren't getting what we need to be proactive about it. She has a strategy, though:
I try to be very gentle about it, but I say, Guys, you need to be aware of this. Their mouths drop. Most women are shocked, even very well-educated women. We're so concerned with not getting pregnant for so many years that that fertile window is escaping us.
Okay, so now we are aware. What do we do? Well, Eggsurance can tell us all we need to know, like how much it costs, for instance. Got a spare $7,000 to $18,000 and then another $5000 for the necessary medications? (Psssht. Isn't there some secret elixir of youth that we could buy off the internet for a lot less?) Eggsurance also has all the information about how the freezing process works and the various clinics that do it, which is something Adams couldn't find when she was getting started. She even runs a blog that has posts about things like the "importance of including frozen eggs in estate planning." (And to my niece Sophia, I bequeath my collection of frozen eggs…) Good Lord, there really is a lot to think about. It's enough to hurt one's aging brain.
Anyway, if you can get past the financial hurdles and the mental hurdles of accepting that your body is aging and that you might not meet THE ONE tomorrow, then apparently being aggressive about your fertility and freezing your eggs can bring you some much-needed peace of mind. Says Adams,
When I was 35 or 36, I was wrapped up in anxiety about how am I going to meet that person? I'm really happy I was proactive and froze my eggs. It gave me a sense of calm and freedom.
Something to think about BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. Who knows, maybe people in their 20s will even take to the practice—which is, of course, the time when they really should be doing it since eggs only get worse as we age—and pretty soon saying something like, "Well, you know, I'm eggsured," will be the new way to brag on a first date.
small>Image via andesign101/Shutterstock.