Is egg freezing empowering women to make choices about their future or deterring them from having a family?

Posted on 14 June 2016

There is certainly no lack of media hype about egg freezing. Headlines tell us that celebrities are doing it and big businesses like Apple and Facebook are covering treatment costs for their employees. Activists have asked the question: is this about empowering women to make choices or about keeping employees in the workplace rather than on maternity leave?

What do actual fertility specialists think? Female fertility specialist Dr Raelia Lew is an obstetrician and gynaecologist with expertise in egg freezing.

“Our media culture seems to feel the right to constantly comment on what women should or should not be able to do with our bodies and I don’t agree with that. The truth is – with the emergence of egg freezing technology, these are incredibly exciting times for young woman. Biology and IVF have failed many women who try to conceive too late and need to turn to the use of a younger woman’s donated eggs. Egg freezing has the power to change that for many women. I think it is the most monumental development in reproductive medicine I have seen.”

In the egg freezing debate, women and new technology have been unfairly blamed for complex social issues affecting us all.

As a society we do not spend enough time supporting families. We fail to value, promote and support young women in the workforce with equal pay and opportunity for promotion. We reward long antisocial working schedules that make it more difficult for men and women to find a partner. At the same time, society fails to impose any social expectation on men in their 20’s to partner or commit to become fathers. We lack quality childcare infrastructure and women fear discrimination on returning to work part-time after having a baby. We judge mothers who return to work full time after having children but put little expectation on fathers to champion work flexibility or share household work. These problems have nothing to do with egg freezing.

Egg freezing is not something women should aspire to do instead of having a baby. It is a new and exciting technology that could improve your chance of motherhood one day for women who are not planning to have a baby right now. Women who freeze eggs are frequently single and the most common reason cited for delaying motherhood is not having yet found a partner.

Critics of the procedure say that the existence of egg freezing technology could perhaps discourage young women from having children earlier and can not guarantee their later success. Others argue that the cost is unfairly prohibitive, especially since women in their 20’s and early 30’s  (making lower incomes) are the ones that the technology can most benefit (because of their strong egg numbers and high egg quality, more likely to result in a baby).

While the critics and champions debate how egg freezing should be promoted, one thing is certain – used in the right way, this technology has the potential to be a real game changer in the fertility sphere for women.


Dr Raelia Lew is a leading expert in egg freezing, but she is also a highly qualified Obstetrician, Gynaecologist and holistic fertility specialist. You will come away from your Well Woman Health Check appointment empowered with detailed knowledge, not just about your eggs but about all aspects of your fertility.  Make an appointment today

phone 03 9041 9082



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