Is It Time To Take Charge Of Your Fertility?

By Matt Kempner
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Freezing eggs and embryos has been an option used for years, particularly for people facing health issues. But the trend of women waiting later in life to become moms is driving more elective freezing. “Prelude Fertility” is just one of a number of clinics nationally offering the service.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The process of making babies is, biologically speaking, designed to be pretty dang glorious.

But this isn’t a column about sex. It’s about efforts to expand the business of having babies later in life, an exercise sometimes loaded with anxiety and steep costs for would-be parents.

An Atlanta-based medical practice backed by big investors wants to become a national powerhouse with a pitch to would-be moms: Freeze your eggs in your 20s or early 30s when they are likely to be healthiest and store them for when you’re ready to have kids.

“It’s about transforming the marketplace,” Susan Hertzberg, the new CEO of Prelude Fertility, told me. “We want to massively educate the market.”

I worry about the line between education and hyping yet another worry for an anxiety-filled generation.

“I don’t want to scare anybody,” Hertzberg told me when I raised that concern. “But at least know what the risks are.”

Freezing eggs and embryos has been an option used for years, particularly for people facing health issues. But the trend of women waiting later in life to become moms is driving more elective freezing. Prelude is just one of a number of clinics nationally offering the service. It may, though, be among the best funded in trying to grow the business.

Aging does matter on the fertility front. A Centers for Disease Control report concludes the risk of infertility rises as women age, in part because of diminished egg quality. It cites data indicating that 7 to 9 percent of childless women who are 15 to 34 years old experience infertility, compared to 25 percent among 35 to 39 year olds and 30 percent among 40 to 44 year olds.

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