COVID and egg freezing

Dr. Beth Taylor

December 21, 2020

I love stories. Podcasts like Serial, S-Town, Dying for Sex, and The Shrink Next Door keep me parked in my car listening outside my house, when I should have gone inside long ago.  When I was in my 20s I watched Dateline, read autobiographies and started searching for the stories of my family. Not all stories are good ones or well told, but they all still have value.

 

The stories that will come out of 2020 will be sad, amazing, boring, scary, and surprising.

 

How a vaccine, when unhindered by bureaucracy and funding limitations, could be brought to people in months.

 

How people expressed gratitude to the often ignored workers in our community like the delivery person or hospital cleaner.

 

How so many elderly in long term care died alone from COVID.

 

How parents and teachers pivoted on short notice to home school children.

 

How science was questioned and common sense ignored in some countries resulted in unnecessary loss of life.

 

The stories from the fertility world are just starting to become known. As people were locked down and contraception became harder to access (like all health care), a baby boom became likely in many countries. Early reports from the US, however suggest couples in affluent demographic groups were less likely to want to conceive - many reporting a desire to delay childbearing until the health and societal significance of the pandemic becomes more clear.

 

In the world of fertility care, we saw a marked increase in demand for egg freezing. As COVID put dating largely on hold, single women got worried. Most women in their 30s know the harm the passage of time has on their fertility and they know that with each year the chance of having a child with their own eggs drops. Single women in their 30s, unable to date, unable to plan a pregnancy (unless they wished to do it as single women), took control and froze their eggs in record numbers.

 

We weren’t the only clinic noticing this increase in requests for egg freezing. An article in The Lily (a women’s newspaper out of the US) discusses the phenomena of pandemic egg freezing and it most certainly could be about our clinic.

 

It’s a smart move in many ways, especially for those in their 30s who know that having children is a few years away - storing eggs for the future is wise.

 

What else will we look back on and consider having been a smart move, nudged on by the pandemic? Probably not spending hours making sourdough bread, in my opinion. Perhaps it will be our new devotion to home. Perhaps better hygiene.

 

I’m going to enjoy slowing down over the holidays and read stories about how this pandemic has shifted our world for the better.

 

If you have questions about egg freezing, email me (btaylor@olivefertility.com) or get a referral to us from a family physician to have a consultation with one of our fertility doctors.

 

Dr. Beth Taylor MD, FRCSC

Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility

Inclusion of all gender and sexually diverse people is an important value of Olive Fertility Centre. We are continuously striving to create an environment of compassionate belonging where all of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community are supported, valued and respected.

Olive Fertility Centre resides on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Tsleil-waututh Nations (Vancouver and Surrey clinics), of the Lekwungen people (Victoria clinic), of the syilx/Okanagan people (Kelowna clinic) and of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation (Blossom Fertility clinic in Prince George).

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