29 March 2022
In today’s episode, we will discuss the history of the IVF industry, and its latest strategies for expanding its market reach and services. This 44-year-old for-profit industry is estimated to reach to $37 billion dollars globally by 2027. It has done a masterful job positioning itself as a ‘cure’ for infertility and, more recently, selling the ‘promise’ of future family through egg freezing and other third-party services. The hope sale is central to its business model.
Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos has fought for the last decade+ to raise the visibility of those who have been negatively impacted by what she calls “the industry’s saccharine siren song.” She’s educated and brought much needed attention to the prevalent failure rates and health risks that accompany IVF and egg freezing as well as to the heavy personal toll when the reality doesn’t match the marketing.
Here in the U.S., this industry is predominantly self-regulated. Without external oversight, clinics routinely market their reproductive services solely to the upside of the IVF process. Their websites and materials are filled with curated success stories. We will explore what is not being said, in our discussion today. There is also a concerning trend among larger companies to encourage the use of ‘fertility’ services, targeting young, presumably healthy females, through services such as egg freezing. This is offered under the guise of creating a solution for women to delay having a child or children, in order to remain fully employed. This also allows for some employers to dismiss more immediate workplace needs for parents, such as paid parental leave and childcare, while also dismissing the potential medical consequences and mental health impacts on women.
In 2019, when Goldman Sachs, began offering a $10,000 stipend for egg retrieval and a $20,000 stipend for egg ‘donation’, they also began offering 26 weeks of paid parental leave regardless of gender, caregiver status or method of parenthood (birth, adoption, surrogacy). While companies are offering much needed, extended parental leave policies and unvetted, one could argue, predatory fertility services subsidies, these pronatal efforts still fail to recognize or reward employees without children. The $10-20k benefit, in addition to parental leave, is hardly an equitable proposition for those unable to have, or uninterested in having children.
Companies must begin to engage benefits for all employees, regardless of parental or family status, from equitable subsidies to universal paid leave, regardless of reason. Join us for a highly informative discussion, to learn more about the reproductive services industry, and in recognition of survivors.
Pilot Episode 6:
For more information visit: https://silentsorority.com
Silent Sorority: A (Barren) Woman Gets Busy, Angry, Lost and Found