WIRED Reframes Egg Freezing Debate

WIRED

WIRED logoEgg freezing inadvertently gave birth to a much bigger set of conversations. It began when the business and technology press turned its sights on the topic prompted by news from Apple and Facebook. Until just recently,  any reproductive medicine coverage had been relegated to health, bioethics and women’s media outlets. The move to a much bigger stage is due in large part to the fearless health and human rights advocate and educator Miriam Zoll. She has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to research, synthesize and share many otherwise hard to locate health studies and bioethics concerns associated with egg freezing and artificial reproduction during the past year. Miriam has generously shared her data sources and tenaciously sought out influencers, as well as lectured on college campuses and written many important pieces of her own.

As a result of her efforts a slew of new articles have been written and published. Most recently she took the facts to The New York Times in Room for Debate. Last Friday she appeared on Inside Story with host Ray Suarez.

InsideStory
If it had not been for her gentle but steady, encouraging voice this week I would not have mustered the energy necessary to write and pitch not one but two first person accounts. The second in-depth piece went live this afternoon on WIRED magazine. You can read the whole story, The Sobering Facts About Egg Freezing That Nobody’s Talking About here. (Thank you, Miriam).

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Whether it’s Masters of Sex on Showtime, or the recently published book, The Birth of the PillHow Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution by Jonathan Eig (an engaging must read), history shows that medicine and procedures impacting the sex organs have an unusual, awkward and, at times, alarming set of lessons for us.

READ  A Look Back At How We Got From There to Here in the Blogosphere

In an interview with NPR’s Fresh Air host Terry Gross, Eig describes the individuals responsible for developing the pill this way: “They were sneaky about what they were doing — skirting the law, lying to women about the tests they performed and fibbing to the public about their motivations.”

It seems there is a history of bad behavior from those involved in profiting from reproductive medicine.

Whether in developing procedures or medicines to prevent pregnancy in the 1950s or pioneering new ways to help couples improve their fertility outcomes in more recent decades — doctors and scientists seem to have lost sight of a more basic code of medical conduct: do no harm.

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6 thoughts on “WIRED Reframes Egg Freezing Debate

  1. I love your Wired article, Pamela. It sets everything out so simply and without bias. You’ve had a busy week!

    I hope you are relaxing this weekend, maybe with some mutual friends?

  2. I love this article too! In fact, I’m presently engaged in a Facebook discussion/debate about it (via private message, thankfully) with someone who takes exception to a few points (ironically regarding your personal experience with IVF as opposed to egg freezing….), but thankfully the discussion has been completely respectful and fact-based. Love a good intellectual discussion to get my blood flowing in the morning. :)

    I hope you have a restful and awesome weekend!

  3. I thought I had already commented on this — perhaps on Facebook? At any rate, just wanted to say I think this is your best piece yet on this subject… lays everything out so clearly. Reproductive technology can be & has been a blessing for many, but — less publicly — also a source of much disappointment and devastation. It’s important for anyone considering using ARTs to go in with their eyes wide open and a hand firmly on their wallet.

  4. Ok, I have to admit that I keep coming back to this topic; it’s like a rabbit hole that I can’t escape from. Over the past week or so I’ve been reading a lot about egg freezing in bioethics and law journals (with a few medical journal articles thrown in for good measure) and I must say that the more I read, the more pi$$ed I get. The articles I’ve read, most published in 2013 or 2014, focus on functional issues (e.g., egg freezing technique), ethical issues (e.g., disposal of unused/unwanted eggs), legal (e.g., who takes custody of the eggs if the patient dies or fails to pay their storage fee), empowerment of women to move forward in their careers without the burden of worrying about potential future infertility, etc. Not one of the articles I read spoke of health risks that these practices nor their dismal failure rates (though many of the articles were quick to point out that success rates were improving). I mean, it’s great that they’re examining all of these issues, but I feel like some of the most important things, short and long term mental and physical health of the women involved, as well as efficacy of the procedure are being neglected.

    Just had to get that off of my chest…. :)
    *steps off of soapbox*

    1. Pamela Tsigdinos

      I completely share your frustration, Kinsey. There is so much whitewashing going on in this area. There are only a handful of voices asking for safety, health and efficacy data. Hopefully, that changes soon. Meanwhile, did you see Miriam Zoll and Josephine Johnstone’s latest in The New Republic? Is Freezing Your Eggs Dangerous? A Primer
      http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120077/dangers-and-realities-egg-freezing

      1. Thanks for the article! I’m so glad there are a few voices who are loudly advocating on behalf of women! This is such a complex issue and the more I think about it and read about it the less I feel like I know.

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