Aging is a normal part of human existence.
As we age, parts of our body change the way in which they work - or stop functioning all together. For women, natural aging means a slow down and then a stoppage in our ability to be fertile.
With women increasingly devoting the early part of their lives to establishing a career, many are delaying pregnancy. Some are freezing their eggs for later use. Physicians, employers, and society as a whole are starting to encourage this practice.
This is troubling in a few ways. Drs Petropanagos and colleagues write (in the CMAJ) that it raises some significant social implications, reinforcing that "motherhood is a central aspect of womanhood."
Egg freezing as a way of preserving women’s reproductive options reinforces the social norms and expectations that construe motherhood as a central aspect of womanhood. Women are encouraged to freeze their eggs as a way to “have it all” (that is, to have both a family and a career), implying that for those women who want both these things, egg freezing makes this possible. Although individual women may benefit from egg freezing to satisfy their reproductive desires, physicians should not assume that having a genetically related child is equally important to all women who ask about social egg freezing.
Our bodies do things for a reason. Delaying pregnancy and then using frozen eggs exposes women (and their new children) to greater and greater risks, due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth.
Fighting the natural changes makes aging a 'medical problem' rather than a part of our existence that we can embrace and accept. I agree with the authors' suggestion that there are better solutions, like funded child-care, that could enable women to really have a choice when it comes to balancing motherhood and a career.