Egg freezing and IVF have been touted as miracle procedures, allowing women to push further in their careers before having to take time off for kids, or just letting them hold off on family planning until they meet the right partner.
While a fast freezing process known as vitrification has significantly lowered the chance that eggs and embryos will inadvertently get destroyed, success rates for IVF are under 50%—even for healthy women. The vast majority of women don’t end up using their frozen eggs (or, at least, they haven’t yet) says one recent study. Thanks to technological advances, there are also more embryos left over.
So what happens to those unused eggs and embryos? Well, that’s largely up to the person who’s biological material it belongs to. In our new series Are We There Yet?, I explore the promise of technology and how it affects people’s lives. For the first episode, I spoke with Minnie Ingersoll, a tech worker who received financial support from her job to help her conceive. She talks through her IVF process and her current range of options.
I also spoke with Arthur Caplan, director of medical ethics at the New York University School of Medicine, about the legal implications of choosing to donate one’s eggs or a couple’s embryos.
Check out the first episode in the embedded video, and look out for new episodes of Are We There Yet? every Wednesday here and on YouTube.