There was a recent news story about an Arizona woman who underwent fertility preservation prior to chemotherapy treatment.
From the article: “She froze her eggs in 2014 after she was diagnosed with cancer. At the time, she and her now ex-husband signed an agreement saying both parties would have to give “express, written consent” before one could use the embryos to achieve a pregnancy. If the couple divorced, they agreed to donate the embryos.
When the couple did divorce in 2017, her ex-husband refused to let Torres use the embryos. ”
I find this heartbreaking for this woman. Although I understand the legal contract must be honored, I wonder if the option of freezing eggs as well as embryos was presented to this couple. I’m sure if you are married or in a relationship and going through fertility preservation not everyone is going to be considering “what’s if we get divorced.” But if this woman froze both eggs and embryos, she would have a chance of giving birth with using a sperm donor now. I’m wondering if a combination of freezing eggs and embryos is a possibility, and if so, is this discussed during a fertility conservation consult.
Wow, that is sad that she was not allowed by the ex husband to use the embryos. I guess at the time when a decision is being made about, divorce is not on anyone’s mind, but to be realistic, that is something each individual should really think about when freezing embryos. However, if I am remembering correctly, from the lecture it was mentioned that women can freeze both eggs and embryos.
A great topic of conversation to bring up. I think in many of these conversations around fertility preservation bring up philosophical considerations. Many of our readings talk about the difficulty of asking AYAs to make adult decisions about future child bearing practices. The story above is really sad, but I wonder if the possibility of legal disposal of the organic material should be brought up in the initial conversation? (Side note: One of my current patients is experiencing guilt for “leaving a future baby on ice,” so I’m interested in further understanding our patients’ relationships with embyros vs. eggs).