In the past, infertility specialities have focused on things like artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization (IVF treatments). Now, fertility centers are getting more requests for something else entirely: egg freezing parties. More women are focusing on their careers and putting off getting married and having a family. While it's understandable and, in many ways, admirable, it's not always best for fertility.
Women's most fertile years are in their young 20s (between the ages of 20 and 24) when a growing number of women have priorities other than child-rearing. By age 30, fertility drops somewhat. After 35, it begins to dramatically decline, and at age 40 only 40% of women will be able to conceive naturally if they wish to do so. And that's where egg freezing parties come in.
At one such party in Arizona, "women snacked on flatbreads, cheesesteak, eggrolls, and lollipop chicken wings as they learned how to extend their fertility through egg freezing," The Arizona Republic writes. (To be perfectly clear, unlike Botox parties and things of that nature, egg freezing parties do not involve actually freezing eggs, but educating women about the infertility procedures.) Right now, egg freezing parties are sweeping the nation, with attendance varying from just 11 guests up to 200. Restaurants and spas are some of the most popular venues. At these parties, healthcare or fertility professionals will explain the process -- which essentially involves stimulating egg production with hormones, freezing them, and then unfreezing them at a more opportune moment -- and challenge women to answer questions and play trivia games about fertility.
While it may seem like an unusual trend, many consider it vitally important -- even necessary. Up until recently, there has been a general lack of education about fertility and the effect of age on becoming pregnant. The vast majority of sex education focuses on avoiding pregnancy, not making it happen when the time is right. Healthcare professionals and infertility specialities are actively participating in these parties and encouraging their spread, hoping to help more women take control of their fertility and strike a balance between their careers and parenthood.
Conventional wisdom about conceiving can range from informative and helpful fact to superstition, old wives' tales, and some advice, while undoubtedly well-meaning, that just gets plain weird. With one out of eight couples requiring some sort of fertility treatment, it can be frustrating to sort through it all, to pick out the good and the bad, and finally (with any luck) land on good, solid advice. Don't mess around with fertility. Don't risk the well-being and happiness of you and your family. Instead, try these methods that work.
Making a baby seems pretty easy, right? After all, so much emphasis, and even anxiety, is placed on preventing unwanted pregnancy that you'd assume getting pregnant was as easy as, well, doing the deed. However, couples struggling with infertility would beg to differ. Getting pregnant isn't as simple as shelving birth control. In fact, it can be quite complicated.
Trying to conceive a child can be frustrating, especially if you are unsuccessful in doing so after several attempts; however, receiving an infertility diagnosis can be devastating. In fact, the pressure to have children -- especially by a certain age -- can be tremendous, and the thought of not being able to can make many people feel as though they are lacking.
Technological advances in medicine have given way to a better, more thorough understanding of both fertility and infertility. Among all the research done to better understand infertility, one thing is for sure: infertility is extremely common and can happen to anyone, regardless of age. In fact, it's been estimated that as many as 7.4 million women -- or 11.9% of women -- have received infertility treatments in their lifetime. Furthermore, as many as one in eight couples, or 12% of married women, will experience difficulty in getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy.
There's no ifs, ands, or buts about it; the decision to have a child is undoubtedly an emotional experience. However, an infertility diagnosis can add further stress to the entire process. According to Harvard medical researcher Alice Domar, "The majority of infertile women report that infertility is the most upsetting experience of their lives. Infertile women report equivalent levels of anxiety and depression as women with cancer, HIV status or heart disease."
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