Women of earlier generations were under the belief that they couldn’t have it all. Only two options exist: a career or a family. If she chose to have a career, she would have to leave any dreams of having a family behind, and vice versa. However, it is most definitely possible for women to pursue both a career and a family in today’s society through egg freezing or oocyte cryopreservation. The only question is, will egg freezing help your career?
Will Egg Freezing Help Your Career?
Today, career women who’d like start a family someday have the option of harvesting and freezing their eggs for future use. The number of women freezing their eggs is growing at an ever increasing rate. Here are some of the reasons why egg freezing may or may not be worth the expense.
Why Egg Freezing Is Worth The Expense
1) Affords You Time to Reach Your Maximize Earning Potential
It takes years to work oneself up the corporate ladder, and if you have children it can take even longer. Many women feel pressure to conceive strictly because they recognize their internal biological clocks are ticking as they approach their late 20s and early 30s. While this might be an ideal age to have children, they’re also premium years to build up a career. However, by freezing your eggs you create far less pressure to have children before you reach a certain age. You can instead focus on your career and maximize your earning potential.
Fair or not, having children can definitely affect your career opportunities. Time taken off work to care for your newborn can by extension negatively impact your earning capacity.
2) Avoid the Mommy Penalty
Employers should not discriminate against people just because they have children. However, many women complain about being hurt by the mommy penalty. Sociologists describe the mommy penalty as all of the disadvantages women experience in the workplace because they have children.
- Studies have shown that working mothers’ earnings drop thirty percent after having their first child and never come close to recovering.
- Men only face a slight decrease in earnings after becoming fathers. By year two, they are earning the same amount as childless men and continue to do so for the remainder of their careers.
Statistics indicate that employers are less likely to hire a mother than a woman without children. They believe mothers will not be able to commit to the job and may take more time off from work in order to care for their children. Interestingly, the motherhood penalty is more likely to affect younger women. Studies show that mothers in their 20s and 30s are more likely to feel the impact of this penalty than women in their 40s and 50s.
Will egg freezing help your career? It’s possible, but obviously not a guarantee.
Why Egg Freezing Is Not Worth The Expense
1) Low Rate of Success
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) has a notably low success rate. This is a process which involves fertilizing the egg in a lab before placing it inside the uterus. If your eggs have been frozen, this is the process that you will undergo. The average 35-year-old woman only has a 40 percent chance of conceiving via IVF, whereas a 42-year-old woman has no more than a four percent chance of success. It’s also important to recognize that you will probably never use the eggs you’ve frozen. In fact, only 6 percent of women who freeze their eggs do.
2) High Financial Cost
Waiting to start a family will cost you financially, as the average price for oocyte cryopreservation starts at approximately $10,000. You also need to pay a yearly fee to store your eggs. Additionally, one round of IVF can cost over $5,000. Most health insurance plans will not cover egg freezing or IVF. Meaning, you will likely have to cover the entire cost out of pocket.
3) Still Harm Your Career
You could still be affected by the mommy penalty even if you reach the pinnacle of your career to have children. Having kids at any point can hurt your career. You’ll still have to face the same struggles as younger mothers do and might have a harder time finding work if you choose to change careers. Plus, there’s the issue of wage discrimination so many working mothers may be subject to.
Will Egg Freezing Help Your Career? – Conclusion
Ultimately, oocyte cryopreservation holds enormous promise. Women now have the liberty to delay starting families until they’re a little older in life. However, the technology is still relatively new and has a ways to go to be considered a foolproof method enabling women to conceive after they’ve reached a certain age. Fortunately, all indications are that it’s just a matter of time now.
What’s your opinion? Is egg freezing worth it?
AUTHOR LaTia Longuemire
My name is LaTia Longuemire. I enjoy writing, singing, and cooking in my spare time. My passion is helping others. At this stage in my lifetime, I'm primarily focused on my children. They are everything that keeps my world spinning.