Egg Freezing Parties Are a Thing

Welcome to the future.

Big Brother’s watchful Internet eye is alive and well. It’s spooky how your latest Google search ends up as an ad in your Facebook feed. But the latest ads popping up in my browser are more of an age-related thing, which is even scarier.

In a classic Sex and the City episode from 2000 called, “The Big Time,” Samantha starts freaking out that her 40-something self is receiving catalogs in the mail for menopausal women. Well, this 30-something writer feels her pain. What popping up in my feeds? Egg freezing parties.

Look, I get it. As a health editor, I’ve read my share of studies, and I’m well aware that my viable eggs continue to decline as I continue to age. I even wrote about the new egg freezing advances in January 2013. But I don’t need to be Internet ad-shamed as a daily reminder of my age. In fact, I feel that aging is a gift. We are lucky to see another day, another year. The older you are, the luckier you are to be alive. Take note, kiddies.

The ads all over my browser are from EggBanxx, a New York-based company that is hosting “egg freezing parties” across the country. It’s designed to inform women of the advances in technology and their options when it comes to fertility and reproductive health.

In March, EggBanxx held one of its parties at the Liberty Hotel. Dr. Mallika Marshall, WBZ-TV’s medical reporter wrote that about 50 women “shared drinks and got a chance to talk to fertility doctors about the possibility of freezing their eggs, which has only been considered non-experimental for about three years now.”

Dr. Marshall notes in her report a few key items, namely the price and the truth about exactly how well it works:

While it’s great to plan, it comes at a cost. Egg freezing typically runs around $10,000, not including monthly storage fees, and none of it is covered by insurance.

Egg freezing is ideal for women younger than 35, but there is no official age limit.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine does not recommend egg freezing for healthy women who simply want to put off having children but should be reserved for women with medical reasons, like those undergoing cancer treatments.

There is no guarantee that a woman who freezes her eggs will be able to get pregnant later in life. At this point, the success rate of using frozen eggs to get pregnant appears to be about the same as with fresh eggs. However, information is limited because the procedure is still relatively new. So while more women are now freezing their eggs most have not yet tried to get pregnant with them yet.

Is turning things into a “party” really necessary or is it a cultural way of making uncomfortable conversations more enjoyable? Regardless, the fact that we have the technology and more and more women are choosing to go this route means that companies nationwide should consider making it a part of their health plans. When the news broke last October that Facebook and Apple are paying for the procedure as part of its insurance benefits, it opened up a whole new way to look at working in the corporate world as a woman.

Will the first Boston-based company to pay for egg freezing please stand up?