On childlessness

If you haven’t already read this article by Bibi Lynch in The Guardian, you should do. It’s a powerful piece about the reality of being childless in a world where motherhood is given a status you aren’t even aware of unless you aren’t or can’t be a mother. So much of what Bibi Lynch says will resonate with anyone who has experienced fertility problems as well as those who are living with childlessness.

She talks about the way people react when she says she doesn’t have children, about the assumption that only parents can care about children or are kind and loving people – and the idea of hardworking families as if anyone who does not have a family could not possibly be hardworking.

Read it, share it and give it to your family and friends to read – it may help them not to make assumptions or unhelpful comments, and to appreciate just a bit of how it might feel to be involuntarily childless. You may also want to read Bibi’s previous article about childlessness.

What do you think about egg freezing?

White_chicken_egg_squareEgg freezing has been in the news once again this week with a story about a pop-up shop, Timeless, which will set up in London at the end of the month aiming to educate people about what is really involved in freezing eggs. It will contain products which are made to look like items you may find on Beauty shelves, such as the Eau de Pressure perfume range and the 3 simple steps to freeze your fertility, reminiscent of Clinique’s 3 step system. There will also be some debates.

There was a lengthy article by Eva Wiseman in The Observer on the subject, followed by an interesting opinion piece from Viv Groskop. You can also visit the Timeless website for more information.  What do you think? Is it a good idea to provide more information in this kind of way? Does it end up just being another marketing tool for egg-freezing by giving a platform or is this really going to make people stop and think? De let me know your opinions on the subject…

Fertility, age and egg freezing

There’s an interesting piece on the Guardian’s Comment is Free written by Barbara Ellen about a paper in the Lancet suggesting young women might freeze their eggs or ovarian tissue for future use.  She is quite right to be concerned about the uncertainties around freezing as a solution – it is relatively new, expensive and comes with no guarantees – and yet having come across many women who are still unaware of the realities of their fertility I don’t think all women are aware of the way that fertility declines.

There may be endless screeching about this through the “media megaphone” as she describes it, and yet I regularly meet women in their forties who think that being fit and healthy and still having periods must also mean being fertile. I’m not sure where the disconnect is here, and whilst it is quite true that there are many women who may be unnecessarily anxious about their fertility in their early thirties, the realities of fertility in your forties still comes as a surprise to many others.

I’m not sure why this is – is it that women who are now in their forties didn’t get this message when they were younger? Is it that they are putting too much faith in fertility treatments to solve any problems? The realities of IVF success rates of less than 2% at the age of 45 combined with miscarriage rates rising to 93% at that age are still something too few women really appreciate.