The following coms from a March 6 Washington Post article by Danielle Paquette. Full story here.
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Mark Surrey, fertility specialist to the Kardashians, opens with the story of a 44-year-old lawyer who waited too long to freeze her eggs. The patient radiated health, he says, but age had damaged her pregnancy chances.
“It’s not something you can fix with a diet or with acupuncture or with Pilates.”
About 100 guests sit before him in the Beverly Wilshire’s Champagne Room, sipping bubbly and jotting notes at this “Egg Freezing Party” hosted by the marketing start-up EggBanxx. The company rents swanky hotel spaces across the country to pitch women on a fertility treatment once available only to young cancer patients.
As more women delay parenthood, a growing number are turning to egg freezing, a procedure deemed experimental until 2012, as a way to pause the biological clock. But some doctors and medical ethicists are troubled by the marketing of egg freezing and the use of it as a hedge against aging.
Demand for the treatment skyrocketed last year, fertility specialists say, after Facebook and Apple offered to cover a portion of its cost as a benefit for employees. The procedure’s popularity and low odds of success have heightened tension between marketers and some doctors: What is responsible advertising — and what is fear mongering?
A guest in black yoga spandex wipes away tears. Her EggBanxx pamphlet lists the estimated decline of her childbearing ability, the root of her anxiety: Her current chance of conception is 10 percent, it says. The number drops to 8 percent on her 40th birthday. Five percent on her 44th.
Nicole Diez, 38, broke up 18 months ago with her last serious boyfriend. Two empty champagne flutes sit beneath her gold-lacquered chair. She tucked away $30,000 over decades for a house. She wonders if the money should fund her last chance for children.
EggBanxx, which launched last spring in New York, is an early firm attempting to broaden the appeal of egg freezing. It is not a medical provider but a middleman between patients and doctors for reproductive treatments, offering “discount” packages and low-interest loans for services that can start at $7,000 and reach $30,000.
EggBanxx parties, dubbed “Let’s Chill,” are scheduled this year in New York and Boston, with more cities to be announced. Last month’s Los Angeles event was booked at twice its capacity, Bartasi said.
Diez, a nurse from nearby Santa Monica, has always wanted children: A girl or a boy or both — it doesn’t matter. She would teach them to cherish the Catholic faith. She would take them to Paris, her dream vacation.
“If I have the power to do something like this, like egg freezing, I should do it,” Diez says. “Or else I could regret it for the rest of my life.”
Tonight’s stories and statistics compelled her decision: She will spend her house savings on egg freezing.