Should companies be offering egg freezing?

images-10So, Apple and Facebook are to offer to pay for female staff to freeze their eggs as part of a concerted effort to expand the “benefits” they offer to women – but is egg freezing a benefit? Does it really “empower” women? Is offering them something that is so uncertain to enable them to keep working through their most fertile years really to be commended? Is it egg freezing that women want, or is it working environments which make it easier for them to consider starting families earlier in life?

I can’t help thinking that when big companies offer to fund egg freezing for staff, it gives the whole concept a credibility it may not deserve. No one can be certain that they have “preserved” their fertility by freezing eggs – it’s still a relatively new technique, and outcomes are far from certain – but women are being encouraged to believe that this can solve the problem of the female biological clock.

The other side of this, which didn’t get as much media coverage, is that Apple and Facebook also offer funding for fertility treatment and sperm donation – and that is something that I can see being far more helpful to far more women.

What do you think? Would you welcome a company funding egg freezing? Would you like your employer to pay for fertility treatment? Or is it all just one intrusion too many into your private life?

3 thoughts on “Should companies be offering egg freezing?

  1. The comments so far on this on Twitter are that it’s up to companies to offer what they want and that people can then choose whether or not to accept the offer, and that women don’t just delay having children because of careers (absolutely agree).

  2. I agree to some extent Kate, but that has to be balanced with education.
    I still see women waiting to start a family because they don’t know at what age their fertility drops & by how much and they have a perception that egg freezing and IVF will work when you & I know that they’re more likely to be unsuccessful than not.
    So, in order to make informed decision women need all the facts, they need to know the age that their fertility start to drop & how quickly, what the chances of success are with egg freezing and any health risks. Only then can they make informed choices about their future.

    • You are so right Lesley. We keep hearing that women do know about fertility and that they don’t need constantly reminding about the female biological clock – but then you see news like this, and realise there is an assumption that freezing eggs offers some kind of guarantee…

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