We are fast becoming a nation of singles. According to demographic studies, there will be 16 million singles in the UK by 2010, compared with 14 million in 2007. And we have a housing shortage in London now! Property is set to keep growing in value, despite the current economic meltdown, as the number of people living by themselves soars.
But study after study shows that being in a long-term, happy relationship is beneficial in so many ways – it increases your life expectancy, reduces the chance of heart disease, stress, depression and numerous other health problems. The government should be doing more to promote marriage and the family. It would benefit society and the economy hugely, as well as make housing more affordable!
Like many 30-something women I was under the impression that wonderful recent scientific advances meant that egg freezing was now a realistic option for women who are looking to buy time on their biological clock due to wanting to focus on their career or not having met the right man yet. So I was alarmed to read in the current issue of Marie Claire that since the first baby was born from a frozen egg in the UK in 2002, there have been only FOUR babies born from frozen eggs, despite around 400 being defrosted.
It made me think of an article I read in July written by a 41-year old woman who deeply regretted her decision to prioritise a career in advertising over starting a family when she was younger and, having been told she will never be able to conceive as her fertility is now so low, urges 30-something women to freeze their eggs – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1199491/Seduced-stories-stars-giving-birth-later-IVF-myths-career-obsessed-Lucy-believed-children-love-wait.html.
Apparently the medical procedures used in egg freezing have many risks and debilitating side effects and once eggs are thawed the chances of a baby being born are only around SIX out of every 100. Plus the whole process costs around £5000, plus £150 a year to store the eggs, and then another £2000 per cycle for IVF treatment when you decide you want to use them. So you’re looking at at least £7000 for a 6% chance of it being successful.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is now, thankfully, warning women that fertility rapidly declines after the age of 35. But the harsh fact is that a lot of 30-something women are going to leave it too late to have children and then find out that there is no magical fertility insurance plan.