More Women Are Freezing Their Eggs Due to Lack of Suitable Men

Prior to 2012, egg freezing had been deemed “experimental” by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and the procedure had been largely only available to patients who were undergoing chemotherapy or other medical treatments that affect fertility. Removing egg freezing from the classification of “experimental” opened the procedure up to a larger population of women, and now over a decade later, the number of women freezing their eggs to preserve their fertility has increased significantly. Although part of this increase in egg freezing can be attributed to women choosing careers first and motherhood later, new research shows that most women freezing their eggs are single women who have yet to find a suitable male partner.

Marcia C. Inhorn, anthropologist and Yale professor who has researched the social impact of infertility and assisted reproductive technologies (ART) for over 35 years and author of the book, Motherhood on Ice: The Mating Gap and Why Women Freeze Their Eggs, tells The Guardian she began her research with a hypothesis: that career and educational aspiration was driving the turn to egg freezing.

After conducting interviews with 150 women who froze their eggs (most of them heterosexual women who wanted a partner to have children with), she proved that her own hypothesis was incorrect. Contrary to popular belief, educated and successful women are not postponing their childbearing years due to the need to sustain their careers, but rather as an attempt to bridge the fertility gap while waiting for the right male partner to come along.

Over the course of conducting the interviews, Inhorn overwhelmingly found that most of the women were in their thirties, single, and motivated to freeze their eggs due to partnership issues. She goes on to tell The Guardian, “They were one after another women who had been successful in their career and at the same time had been looking for a partner, but they just couldn’t find that reproductive partner,”

Lack of Partners with Higher Education and Success Leads to Increase in Egg Freezing

According to Inhorn, men who do not have similar backgrounds may be intimidated by women who earn more money and have higher levels of education. Ihhorn tells Yale News that men are lacking what she calls “the ‘three Es’ in potential partners: eligible, educated, and equal.”

A significant factor is that fewer men are pursuing a college education and advanced degrees. Women became the majority of college students in 1979, per The New York Times, and the trend has continued rising as the educational disparities continue to grow. The Guardian states that in 2019, 28 percent more women than men in the U.S. had higher education degrees, and USA Today reports that currently, almost 60 percent of college students are women while only 40 percent are men. Men are slowly falling away from higher education while women are climbing toward it.

Many women interviewed by Inhorn said they wanted equitable relationships but that finding partners with equal levels of education and financial stability proved difficult, and many of the women she interviewed also said they often felt that men who had less education and financial success were misogynistic. Given what these women reported, one wonders about the impact of societal and familial norms that may influence the feelings and behaviors of some men, such as the perceived need to make more money, have a higher level of education or have a more successful career than a woman. It may be that the belief that men must be the boss and the breadwinner is more deeply engrained than we thought, leading to some men feeling intimidated by successful women.

However, Inhorn also tells The Guardian that she found in her study a common sentiment that some men are unwilling to commit to partnering with a woman and welcoming parenthood, giving rise to the term “Peter Pans,” men who may be well-educated and successful, but still have the mindset of wanting to be single and have fun (in other words, men “who don’t grow up”). Inhorn says that Peter Pans may not be ready for partnership until they are well into their 40s and 50s.

Beyond the concerns about potential partners that Inhorn found in her studies, is the growing awareness that more women have about the fact that their fertility decreases with age.

Women Turned to Egg Freezing Due to the Pandemic

 According to ASRM, egg freezing increased by 31 percent in 2021, marking a significant increase in fertility preservation treatment. During the pandemic, many women’s social lives were put on pause, leading experts to believe that part of the increase in egg freezing is possibly due to social limitations during this period. Women may have realized their biological clocks were still ticking while the world was on hold.

Sarah Norcross, the director of the Progress Educational Trust, an independent charity that improves choices for people affected by infertility and genetic conditions, told The Guardian, “The dramatic rise in the number of egg-freezing cycles could be linked to the pandemic. Restrictions on socializing may have prompted some women to think more about their fertile window and decide to try to increase their reproductive choices.”

Kari Arenberg, a 31-year-old event producer who was furloughed during the pandemic, is a perfect example. She tells Time that her traveling job was not conducive to dating or freezing her eggs, but the pandemic gave her an opportunity to slow down and look ahead for the first time. She decided that egg freezing was a viable option for her future and after going through the process, she was able to freeze 21 eggs. Arenberg goes on to say in Time, “I don’t know if I want kids, but maybe if I meet the right person someday, this just provided a nice comfort level where I can make some decisions about dating and kids and work when things get back to normal.”

Egg Freezing Gives Women Hope for the Future

Being able to proactively choose to freeze their eggs while waiting for the right partner to come along has given women a sense of control when it comes to their own biological clock. Jenny Hayes Edwards, who froze her eggs at the age of 34, tells The New York Times that she owned three restaurants at the time she went through her cryopreservation cycle and had no time to date or nurture a relationship. She says those eggs gave her time to find the right partner and meet her husband and not operate her life with a sense of urgency. She gave birth to a daughter ten years later and tells The New York Times, “I approached everything differently knowing that those eggs were there. I was calmer about my dating life, and I wasn’t panicked about my biological clock. I feel really proud of myself for being patient.”

As greater acceptance of ART continues, the choices that women have are becoming more apparent; they no longer need to synchronize their dating lives with their biological clocks, giving them the time to find a suitable partner, should they desire one.

The increase in women freezing their eggs will likely continue, as more women choose to create their own path to parenthood. Women no longer need to yield to the societal pressure of simultaneously having it all at the same time: an education, a career, a partner, and parenthood. Women are advancing, and it’s time we celebrated that. Please feel free to reach out to our expert team of fertility law professionals with any questions or for guidance on your egg freezing journey. We are happy to help.

Richard Vaughn

Attorney Rich Vaughn is founder and principal of International Fertility Law Group, one of the world’s largest and best-known law firms focused exclusively on assisted reproductive technology, or ART, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), surrogacy, sperm donation or egg donation. Rich is co-author of the book “Developing A Successful Assisted Reproduction Technology Law Practice,” American Bar Association Publishing, 2017.

Peiya Wang
Paralegal (律师助理)

Peiya Wang joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2015, where she manages surrogacy, egg donation and parental establishment cases and provides translation services for many of IFLG’s international clients. Peiya moved to the United States in 2012 to attend Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, receiving a Master of Science degree in Global Studies and International Affairs in 2014. Peiya moved to Los Angeles in 2015, received her paralegal certification from UCLA Extension, and obtained her second Master of Science degree in Legal Studies from Loyola Law School. Peiya relocated back to her hometown, Beijing, China in 2019 and works from IFLG’s Beijing office. When away from the office, Peiya is a dragon boat paddler and a ballroom dancer, where she favors Rumbas and Cha-chas. She is fluent in Mandarin and English.

Luis Sosa

Luis R. Sosa joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2016, where he enjoys pursuing his passion for family and reproductive law. While working toward his bachelor’s degree at Florida International University which he received in 2013, Luis worked as a paralegal and legal assistant for family law litigation firms in Miami and Washington, D.C. As a paralegal and case manager for IFLG, Luis, who is bilingual in English and Spanish, manages surrogacy, egg donation and other reproductive law cases. Luis has worked for IFLG in both Los Angeles as well as San Francisco, and is currently based in Dallas, Texas. In addition to spending time with husband Randy and dog Marty, Luis enjoys being outdoors and appreciating the arts.

Toni Hughes

After receiving her B.S. in Business Management, Toni joined IFLG to pursue her dream of working in the legal field. As a Paralegal with over 10 years of experience in the assisted reproduction technology field, Toni is our Managing Paralegal, responsible for training and managing our paralegal staff. From drafting legal documents to assisting our clients with post-birth matters, Toni embraces the challenge of learning something new in this field each day. Besides spending time with her son, Jordan, Toni enjoys exploring new things, cooking, spending time with family and friends, and serving as a Youth Advisor for “Next Generation.”


Kim has over 30 years of experience in the legal field and has worked exclusively in surrogacy and assisted reproduction law since 1999. Kim is a senior case manager responsible for managing parental establishment cases and interacting with IFLG’s Of Counsel attorneys across the country. With three children of her own, Kim understands the importance of family and finds working in this area of law a rewarding experience.

Rich Vaughn

Attorney Rich Vaughn combined his personal passion as a father of twin boys born via assisted reproductive technology (ART) with more than 20 years of experience in business and technology law to build International Fertility Law Group. Today IFLG is one of the most successful and best-known law firms in the world focused exclusively on fertility law, helping thousands of intended parents through empathetic listening, compassionate guidance, and unmatched legal expertise. As an advocate for reproductive freedom, Rich also contributes his knowledge and time to improving the understanding and practice of ART law, most recently as a founder of and speaker at the first Cambridge University International Surrogacy Symposium held in June 2019, as immediate past chair of the American Bar Association ART Committee, and as a popular presenter to law schools, faculty and advocacy organizations all over the world.

Elizabeth Tamayo

Elizabeth received her Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice from California State University of Los Angeles. Shortly after graduating, she continued her education at the University of California, Los Angeles where she obtained her Paralegal certificate. Elizabeth is fluent in Spanish and has been in the legal field since 2009. She is excited to be a part of the IFLG Team helping families realize their dreams.

Sunny Chien

Sunny joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2017, where she manages surrogacy, egg donation and parental establishment cases for many of IFLG’s international clients. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from California State University of Los Angeles, where she graduated cum laude. Sunny is bilingual in English and Mandarin and has extensive experience as a legal assistant and paralegal at Los Angeles-area law firms. She is excited to be part of the IFLG team. In her spare time, Sunny enjoys spending time with her family and their dog, going to the beach, cooking, and being outdoors.

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Molly O'Brien

Fertility law attorney Molly O’Brien began working in the field of assisted reproduction technology (ART) in 2005, at an egg donation agency and a surrogacy agency where she became familiar with all aspects of in-vitro fertilization, egg donation and the financial aspects of surrogacy. Since becoming an attorney in 2011, Molly has drafted and negotiated surrogacy, egg donation, sperm donation embryo donation agreements for hundreds of her clients all over the world.

Phoebe Sadler

Fertility law attorney Phoebe Sadler has a background in family law and has been practicing exclusively in the area of assisted reproduction technology (ART) law since 2018.

Rubina Aslanyan

Rubina has an extensive background in the legal field as a paralegal in Family Law and has worked in surrogacy and assisted reproduction law since 2012. Her area of focus is in managing and assisting clients with surrogacy, egg donation, and parental establishment cases for many of IFLG’s domestic and international clients. During her spare time, Rubina enjoys spending time with her family and dog Bella, traveling and cooking.

Alexander Espinoza
Legal Assistant

Alexander joined IFLG as a legal assistant in 2019, where he manages surrogacy, egg donation and parental establishment cases. Alex is bilingual in English and Spanish and has been in the legal field for 23 years. Alex is excited to join the IFLG team and pursuing his will to help others in the reproductive law process. In his spare time he loves spending time with his family and friends, being outdoors, road trips, loves music and dancing.

Cara Stecker
Senior Paralegal

After receiving her paralegal certificate in 2005, Cara began working in assisted reproductive law. During the fifteen years Cara has worked in this field, she has gained a wide range of experience and knowledge that she uses to help better assist clients and those involved in the assisted reproductive journey. Cara’s primary roles involve managing parental establishment matters and coordination with IFLG’s Of Counsel attorney network, drafting contracts and parental establishment court documents and providing support to other team members. Cara finds great joy in being a small part of a team of caring people who help others achieve their dream of having a family. In her spare time, Cara enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, watching her children play the sports they love, and she enjoys, running, cycling and exploring the outdoors in the sun.

Stephanie Kimble

Stephanie received her BS in History and Political Thought from Concordia University Irvine in 2015 and her Paralegal Certificate from University of San Diego later that same year. She has been working as a Paralegal since 2016 in Family and Reproductive Law. She is excited to be part of International Fertility Law Group working on managing Surrogacy, Egg donation and Parental Establishment Cases.

Trish Pittman
Assistant Financial Coordinator

With more than 20 years of experience in the field of accounting, Trish joined the IFLG team in 2019 as Assistant Financial Coordinator. Her client-facing focus at IFLG is to assist with all client trust accounting. Trish is the mother of two daughters and enjoys spending time teaching and learning new things from them. In her free time, she loves long walks in the park and reading suspense and mystery novels.

Katie Deaquino
Senior Paralegal

Katie is a Senior Paralegal with IFLG and has dedicated over sixteen years to the areas of surrogacy and reproductive law. She received her Paralegal Certificate from Coastline Community College and has worked with some of the top law firms in the assisted reproduction community. Katie is also a commissioned Notary Public. With IFLG, Katie manages Surrogacy, Egg Donation, and Parental Establishment cases and provides support to other IFLG team members. Katie truly enjoys helping others build their families through assisted reproduction and is thankful she has had the rewarding experience of assisting IFLG clients. Katie often spends her free time with her Husband, four young children and her bulldog “Bella”.

Elsa Jimenez
Legal Assistant

Elsa joined IFLG as a Legal Assistant in 2019, bringing more than 35 years of experience working in the legal profession (concentrating in tort and litigation matters). At IFLG she assists surrogates with their surrogacy and parental matters. The oldest of five siblings, born and raised in East Los Angeles to Mexican immigrant parents, Elsa loves “seeing the beauty of families forming” through assisted reproductive technology. She and her husband Carlos have four children and one grandson. Elsa enjoys jazz and ’80s music, being outdoors in nature, collecting teacups and tea pots, and spending time with her close-knit family.