Lots of things about reproductive healthcare these days sound straight-up sci-fi when you think about it. One of the most impressive is women's ability to freeze their eggs to preserve fertility, often until they're economically stable enough to have kids. It's by no means a straightforward choice, though, and women often need more information before they make it.
Researchers at England's De Montfort University have just published a small study on women who freeze their eggs for "social" reasons. It's not recreational — rather, these women wanted to save themselves from "panic parenting," or committing to the wrong partner because of fears about fertility. According to the study, many participants actually hoped never to have to use these frozen eggs; their purpose was more for peace of mind.
That said, while in-vitro fertilization remains an incredible technology, it isn't as simple as freezing an egg and popping it back in when you're ready to have a baby. The women who participated in the study said they weren't always given information about the likelihood of seeing a live birth from egg-freezing, nor on how their age (in this group, averaging 37) could affect the process. Panic parenting isn't the only reason women freeze their eggs either; in many cases, couples facing cancer and other fertility-tampering diseases want to give themselves options as well.
If you're considering freezing your eggs for whatever reason, be sure to choose a medical provider who will give you a thorough rundown of the emotional, physical, and procedural costs. You owe it to yourself to go in with eyes all the way open.