I just read a wonderful article about a 35 year old woman that froze 70 of her eggs. Evidently, it cost her $50,000 but it is an insurance policy that will allow her to have children in her 40’s even later. Now she does not have to make some bad choices about having a child with someone she does not really love. She points out that this is way of achieving more equality with men even economic equality. I have never thought of it that way but I think this is an important point. I have often advised female friends in their 30‘s to consider freezing their eggs even if they think they do not want children.You never know. Of course, there are financial and discomfort issues to be considered. Which brings me to the sperm side of this story.
It is a lot cheaper and certainly more pleasurable to freeze sperm. It has been done for many decades. As many readers of this blog will know, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer when I was just 51 years old. Knowing what I know now, I would have waited many years for treatment and may never had been treated at that time but I was strongly advised to deal with the cancer then. I had a combination of internal (seeds) and external radiation. But all main stream treatments ended up with the same result, no prostate or a non functioning prostate. The main purpose of the prostrate is to produce semen which is the fluid that caries sperm (If you did not already know this you may be to young to be reading this blog). Sperm is made in the testicles but cannot really do the job without semen.
I was almost 52 years old and had three wonderful grown children. I was divorced and could not imagine that I would ever remarry (which I did) and want to have children (which I did not). So I decided there was no point in freezing my sperm. Later, I came to regret this decision. I think the ability for a man and a woman to create an other human being is one of the greatest forces in the universe. As a man, had I not zapped my prostate, I could still be able to accomplish this “miracle” until the end of my life. It was a phycological loss. But it helped me to realize the loss so many women must feel as they slowly lose the ability to conceive. I think we men have no idea of the kind of pressure and anxiety that women who want to have children must feel as they enter the mid years of their lives.
For the record, I should say that a man that has been treated for prostate cancer still produces sperm in his testicles and it is possible to extract a few and place them in eggs. Evidently there is a reasonable chance that an embryo can be created this way. Which gets me back to the tittle of this blog” What happens when a frozen egg meets a frozen sperm?”. The answer is that once they are unfrozen, there is a good chance that an embryo will be formed. So if a man and a woman choose to freeze their eggs and sperm, they could have children thousands a years in the future with a little help from those alive at that time. Of course, by then we could actually clone these two people assuming their DNA had been kept and they could have a child the normal way via a surrogate mother.