“It’s not a matter of choice”: Why egg freezing is not about being uptight

Posted in IVF.

In a recent Sky News segment, commentator Katie Hopkins was interviewed on the topic of social egg freezing. Challenging a 40-year-old interviewee who had undergone egg freezing, Hopkins was quick to express her disdain.

“I think listening to that lady talk a whole world of egg freezing is a bizarre idea,” she said. “What happened to living your life and rolling with the punches?”

“I think women these days, especially younger women, have become so prescriptive about their lives. They’re used to going on tinder or bumble and deciding how tall they want their man to be, what colour hair and what colour eyes he should have and now they’re trying to do the same with their babies.”

Read more about egg freezing:

 “Roll with life’s rollercoaster”

Hopkins continued on her tirade, belittling women for wanting ‘too much control’ over things and berating them for the notion that they can choose everything in life.

When the interviewer questioned what’s wrong with giving women the option, Hopkins rolled her eyes and compared it to ‘asking a mate to hold a place in the queue in case you don’t get there’.

Still, her best was yet to come. 

“If you’ve lived your life and get to 35 and haven’t found someone to have kids with yet, it’s probably because you’re uptight or too anally retentive about how you live your life and you need to be a bit more flexible, take a few more risks and roll with life’s rollercoaster.”

Empowering women

You can imagine the collective eye-rolling behind the scenes and the look of horror on the other interviewee’s face. And rightly so.

Egg freezing, which is the process of storing a woman’s unfertilised eggs to allow her to try to conceive at a later date, has become increasingly popular in Australia. In December last year, Genea fertility opened up their first dedicated egg-freezing clinic in Sydney.

The process is empowering women to focus on their careers, establish a secure financial situation and seek out Mr right without the added pressure of worrying about fertility. While egg freezing doesn’t offer the guarantee of a successful pregnancy, for many it’s a risk worth taking.

Not an easy decision

And it certainly doesn’t mean that you’re simply too controlling or fussy! If anything, it’s not an easy decision to make.

“The issue around egg freezing is that, for many women, it’s not a matter of choice,” says Peter Illingworth, medical director at IVF Australia. “Women may be at the right reproductive stage in life but not in a position to have a family. Those women have tough choices to make. Do they go it alone or freeze some eggs and wait?”

Illingworth notes that, contrary to belief, the decision can be even more challenging for younger women.

“If a woman is in her late 20’s, it’s possible that she might not find someone until her late 30’s but there’s also a chance it might not happen, so do they invest money on that risk,” he says.

Illingworth believes that egg freezing will continue but is unlikely to ever become huge because it offers no guarantees.

In the meantime, does that give us reason to judge women who choose to freeze their eggs? Hell, no! If such options are available to women and they choose to take them, then so be it. Each to their own.

So, Hopkins, get back in your box. Put your thoughts and opinions on ice. They won’t even be of interest on the day that hell freezes over.


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