Fear, Insurance Plans and Egg Freezing
Conversations About Egg Freezing
Fear and ignorance. Mainly fear. That’s all I’m going to say here about the verdict that came down last night that is rocking our country today. If you want more of my thoughts, please feel free to take a look on my FertileYoga Facebook page.
There’s a lot going on in the infertility world. Egg freezing is still on the top of the list from what I can see. I wanted to share a conversation about egg freezing that occurred in a group of women who have no experiences with infertility. Most of them are moms. None of them had any problem becoming pregnant. There was even a grandmother. Only two were still of reproductive age. Only one was a still hopeful mom to be, not pregnant yet.
Egg freezing came up. I groaned inwardly, ready to hear a lot of misinformation and judgment about a subject that they probably didn’t know a lot about.
These were an educated group of women who have heard enough, who have listened carefully and who get the issues.
They put it in an interesting way, which I’m sure has been bubbling about; I just haven’t really heard it.
They called egg freezing an insurance policy.
They cut through the chase about whether G----e or F------k should be “paying” for egg freezing. Or if that’s what either or those giant companies is really doing in allowing women to reallocate health funds. We dismissed pretty quickly (maybe too quickly), whether there was something nefarious about giant companies paying for egg freezing, thereby encouraging women to delay childbearing so that they can work longer for said companies. We went with the rather more superficial, “this determination gives women more choices, not less”.
Egg Freezing as Insurance
Probably you all got that a while ago and I’m just a bit slow. It didn’t occur to me before yesterday that women were hoping NOT to have to use these eggs. I assumed that they would. I assumed that they would need to, either because there was no partner yet, there was never a partner, that they ended up with an infertility problem or because they wanted to wait long enough that their eggs weren’t viable.
It didn’t occur to me that the egg freezing could be a “just in case”.
Is that what it is?
Egg freezing as a “just in case”?
What a powerful message.
Our twenty/thirty-year-olds are getting it. They are hearing and learning what their fertility is and what it is not. That our fertility cannot be put on hold and then relied on when we feel ready. It doesn’t always work well that way. We are young, vibrant and dynamic in our 30’s. And our 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond.
But our eggs aren’t.
Sometimes our eggs aren’t even very young in our 20’s.
Even in a “fertile” (no diagnosed infertility problems) woman, egg potential and viability decline as you age. There is a precipitous drop in fertility at age 25. Yes, 25. Not only at 35 but at 25.
For twenty-five years, I have been preaching, teaching, begging women to understand that our fertility declines. That having it all means planning and strategizing when and how. That delaying childbearing can be a tactic that will backfire.
And we’re getting it.
Yes, eggs as an insurance policy. Yes, eggs as a “just in case”.
And yes, this raises a lot more questions.
The Cost of Egg Freezing and Insurance Coverage
We will go on to talk about cost. And insurance coverage.
But for right now?
I’m content that our message has gotten through. Plan your families at least as carefully as you are planning your careers. Don’t assume that becoming pregnant in your 30’s or 40’s is a slam dunk.
If you can afford the insurance policy? I believe that freezing eggs is something to seriously consider.
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About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.