Sunday, December 7, 2014

Working women and freezing eggs

This article I found seems aimed at women like Sheryl Sandberg and her audience in Lean In. Funny enough, I actually know this doctor. I met her through a family friend when I was curious about going pre-med, especially in the realm of women's health, and got to talk to her a bit. What's very intriguing to me is that by the time she was able to actually practice (after undergrad, med school, residency, then more than one fellowship for her specialty in endocrinology), she was in her nearly-mid thirties, a time when women are urged to think about the ticking clock. So she then had to fit having three kids into her busy schedule of running a practice and doing publicity for women's reproductive options on local news and such. Like Sandberg wrote, women are really coming into their careers around the same time that they are told they are running out of time.

This came up in another class of mine (a Russian literature one), and my professor told me that communist Russia actually pushed for women to enter the workforce first, and thus had many women become mothers in their thirties. Nowadays, women typically have children at age 22 (why is not as clear). I would argue that the US would push back the societally constructed age for motherhood to 40 if possible, but 35 poses a biological stop sign. I mentioned (before reading this article), that if it was the norm to freeze eggs, then women would definitely wait until their forties to have children. And now look at what Facebook and Apple are paying for their employees!

It will be interesting to see how reproductive technologies change our norms as we grow older. Will egg freezing become a big thing? Who know?

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