The world of reproductive medicine has many joys. Helping families of all shapes and sizes realize their dreams of bringing a new baby into the world is such a privilege, and one we never take for granted. For many LGBTQ families, the road to parenthood can be long and complex, and the obstacles they often face can be considerable. The opportunity to assist with that quest and celebrate the devotion, persistence, and courage of these families is one of the best parts of our job.
Late last year, famous TV uncle John Stamos was excited to announce that he and his then fiancée, Caitlin McHugh, are expecting their first child. At 54, Stamos falls on the older side of the scale for a new dad. He’s certainly not alone. Both men and women are delaying parenthood, with the average age of first time parents climbing all the time. Currently, in almost 10% of all U.S. births, the father is over the age of 40, a percentage which has more than doubled since 1973 when that number was only 4.1%. Fathers over 50 are still outliers, however, accounting for a little less than 1%. The links between maternal age and fertility have been deeply studied and these findings get a lot of media coverage, but are there risks that potential older fathers should be aware of?
Egg freezing has become an important part of today’s fertility conversations. New techniques and technologies in cryopreservation have made this a viable option for many young women who know that they want to have children, but are not ready to be pregnant right now.
Public opinion still sees infertility as primarily a woman’s issue. When fertility treatments are covered in the media, the articles and features you see are almost always written by and directed at women. The stories you hear through the grapevine are usually from a woman’s point of view. If men are mentioned in relation to infertility at all, it is often as an afterthought.
You’ve done the pondering, the research, and the preliminary math. You don’t want kids right now, but you do want them some day. You know that freezing your eggs while you’re young is a way to help keep your options open when you’re older. So how do you decide if egg freezing is right for you or whether you’re even a good candidate? What’s the next step?
When you’ve decided to reach out for help with your fertility, you have a huge choice ahead of you. Usually, it’s already taken a lot of soul searching, deep conversations, and painstaking research to get to this point, and now all of your hopes seem to hang on this one decision: choosing the right fertility clinic.
Egg donation is a beautiful and rewarding journey. The egg donors we have worked with describe the experience of giving the gift of a child to another human being as one of the most precious experiences of their lives. One of our egg donors describes her experience below.
In response to the recent situations involving two fertility centers and the equipment malfunction in cryo-storage labs, we are saddened and absolutely sympathize with the patients and families who may have been affected. However, we want to assure our clients who have frozen materials here at SCRC that the utmost care is being given to the protection of their biological materials.
Infertility is such a difficult thing to go through. Disappointment, grief, frustration, fear: by the time you seek expert advice, your emotions have probably already been through the wringer. Somehow, you summoned the courage to ask for help, submit to testing, and undergo treatment, but it’s not working. When all of this emotion and effort is met with more disappointment, where do you turn next?
The buzz about elective egg freezing keeps growing, but public opinion is still split. Half the articles you see on the subject champion egg freezing as a huge leap forward in choice, freedom, and equality for women. The other half seem to raise serious questions about how effective the procedure is and whether the success rates make it worthwhile. If you do make the decision to freeze your eggs, how likely is it to pay off in a healthy baby when you’re ready?