In case you hadn't heard yet, Maria Menounos is freezing her eggs in an effort to increase her chances of having biological children when she's older -- and she wants everyone to know all about it. The gorgeous 33-year-old TV correspondent and Extra co-host has gone on shows like Lifechangers With Dr. Drew and Good Morning America to talk about this very private fertility decision, and she plans to document the entire process along the way. It's nice that someone as successful as Maria is giving a voice to the fact that there are options for women who want to or need to wait to have children. But with respect to her personal decision to freeze her eggs, Maria needs to chill out.
Granted, at (almost) 33, single, and admittedly obsessed about my ticking biological clock, I'm particularly sensitive to discussions about fertility issues. But I often notice how the media exacerbates women's anxieties about being too old to have children; Maria hawking egg freezing on every channel can be construed as just that. True, I want to be educated about the options available to me. But to watch Maria (rather defensively) explain why women should freeze their eggs by 35 before it's too late isn't making me aware of my options; it's merely bringing on a panic attack.
Not to mention the fact, she's not presenting the egg freezing procedure as honestly as she could. For one thing, if you watch the clip, she and her doctor gloss over the health risks involved in the procedure and explain the potential for "local reactions, hypersensitivity, redness and swelling, bleeding, infection, etc." away as "minimal." In actuality, the risks to women and children are unknown. That doesn't mean you should be afraid of the procedure; but it doesn't mean you should kid yourself that it's unproblematic.
Of course, the only thing more glossed over than the risks is the cost: The highly successful TV correspondent shrugs off the $10,000 to $15,000 price tag like it ain't no thang.
The one thing Maria does do well is acknowledge that freezing eggs is still an experimental process; just because you freeze your eggs doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to have kids. Still, what's missing from the conversation is her encouraging other women to ask their doctor whether egg freezing is the right decision for them and consider other choices. She's just too gung-ho about the whole thing.
Here's what I want from Maria: I want her to freeze her eggs (if that's what she wants to do). I want her to share her story in case it will help other women. I want her to respectfully, honestly, and calmly present it as one of many options women have if they are trying to delay motherhood. And, I think she has a ways to go on that last point.
Image via ABC News