By Mary MacVean
Los Angeles Times.
If you peeked in on a recent party at the Viceroy Santa Monica, you might have noticed that the guests, almost all female, were chatting quietly, hesitantly, in pairs or trios. This wasn’t a group of good friends, Prosecco and hors d’oeuvres aside.
The women were there to consider an investment: spending thousands of dollars to retrieve and freeze their eggs in case they need them one day to try to become a parent.
Egg-freezing parties, this one called On Ice, are a thing now. The idea is that not enough women are thinking about this procedure and are not thinking about it soon enough.
“Everyone who can afford to freeze their eggs should freeze their eggs. Women should take this seriously,” Dr. Vicken Sahakian said at the Viceroy hotel party. “The older you are, the more eggs you need. The older you are, the fewer eggs you produce.”
Egg freezing, or oocyte cryopreservation, is neither a sure thing nor cheap, running $10,000 or more a cycle, not to mention hundreds of dollars a year in storage fees, and rarely covered by insurance or employers (Facebook and Apple being among the exceptions). And there is plenty of cultural debate over whether egg freezing takes advantage of women desperate to have a child or is a way to empower them.
But doctors and women who’ve done it call it insurance; women say it enables them to establish a career, travel or find the right partner before becoming a parent.
“It will be absolutely the greatest gift you can give yourself because it will give you the opportunity to create the family of your dreams, and you will never regret it,” Dr. Carrie Wambach said at the Viceroy, where there was a raffle for free medication needed for the process.