Dr. Sonya Kashyap is the medical director of Genesis Fertility Centre and a clinical assistant professor at UBC.
Dr. Sonya Kashyap is the medical director of Genesis Fertility Centre in Vancouver, B.C. She is also a clinical assistant professor at the University of British Columbia’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Before this time, she was an assistant professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) and served as an assistant professor at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Ottawa.
I first read The Handmaid's Tale soon after it was published in 1985. In 1985, I did not know that I would one day become a reproductive endocrinologist and fertility doctor who would specialize in in vitro fertilization (IVF). Indeed, I likely did not know what IVF was.
As women age, so do our eggs. From an evolutionary perspective, this makes sense. We have to carry the pregnancy and presumably should be healthy enough to do so. Therefore, nature has built our biological clock into our eggs rather than the uterus. Mother nature did not know that we would maintain our health and live much longer lives.
The recent news that actress Sofia Vergara is facing a lawsuit from her ex-fiancé over the fate of their frozen embryos is shining a light on the embryo freezing process. If a couple separates and fails to agree on what to do with their frozen embryos, a lengthy and emotionally taxing legal battle could ensue. However, if only eggs are frozen over the course of a relationship, and that relationship ends, there is no dispute over who the eggs belong to and who controls their fate.
With headlines like "Three-parent babies!" exploding across the internet, it is easy to assume this new process will lead to the creation of children bearing the physical and psychological traits of three different people, but that is simply not the case.
For those who are trying to conceive, especially single women who may be trying to decide between becoming a single parent or choosing egg freezing, the holidays can be a tough time as it brings into focus family and resolutions for the future. Instead of focusing on your worries, think about the positives.
Egg freezing has sparked widespread media interest after Apple and Facebook recently announced they would cover the cost of the fertility procedure up to $20,000. This caused some serious debate. Some interpreted this as the tech giants' way of giving women more of a choice around career and starting a family; others saw this as a chauvinistic attempt to recruit and retain female employees. To further understand why this is such a contentious issue, here is some background information on the procedure and how it applies to Canadians.
The concept of egg donation is novel to many. For most women over 40, it is difficult to conceive. Some undergo infertility treatments with their own eggs but these days, many conceive through the use of an egg donor. Since it is a private matter, most women do not share the struggles of conception, making it a taboo subject. The invention of egg donation as a procedure was revolutionary in terms of helping couples, who for varying reasons would never have had the ability to create a family. Technology will continue to advance, creating new options for families looking for solutions. But in the meantime, we can all help by staying informed and sharing each others' stories in hopes that one day, fertility troubles will be an issue of the past.