Women across America are choosing to delay having children for one reason or another, and that includes professional athletes.
On the court, WNBA players control the clock — but off the court, it's a little more difficult.
"Our societal expectations and our social calendars have advanced, but biology stays the same, right? Biology is biology, no matter how good our technology is, and it's gotten really good. We can't change biology," said Dr. Anate Brauer, the director of IVF at Shady Grove Fertility.
Some female athletes are giving up their childbearing years for the game.
"You're using sort of your prime years for your career, right, because the athlete's career is gonna be in their 20s and early 30s. It's no different than women in nearly every industry," said Dr. Robert Setton, an OG-GYN at Shady Grove Fertility.
"Women have their lives and the choices they make have been dictated by the sort of life cycles imposed on them and the expectations about when, and how they're supposed to bear children," said Amanda Gordan, a NY Liberty fan.
Doctors like Anate Brauer and Robert Setton want to make sure that when women reach their career peak, they're able to achieve their goals of motherhood, and not working from a deficit.
After all, infertility is increasing worldwide. The World Health Organization says 1 in 6 women will have trouble conceiving.
"If someone asked me what's the best time to get pregnant, I would say in your 20s, but there's no way I was going to do that. You know, too many career goals and aspirations. But that's the reality at the end of the day, and now thank God we have this technology that can put that clock in the freezer," said Brauer.
That's why Brauer and Setton are encouraging women to at least start thinking about their fertility and egg-freezing as they climb the ladder.
"Even a few years have a difference of being able to capture eggs and harvest eggs," said Sutton.
The doctors at the clinic say Hollywood and social media have skewed what many women think about their fertility. That's why Shady Grove Fertility has partnered with the New York Liberty to raise real awareness and educate the public on an issue they say has a huge knowledge gap.
"It's not one egg, one baby, those eggs have to be able to survive the freezing and thawing process, they have to fertilize, they have to then grow into embryos, and then that embryo has to stick," said Sutton.
Those concerns are relevant to Liberty fans, too. Raquel Abubo is trying to conceive with her wife now; it's not just the stress of conception, but cost. One round of treatment can run in the tens of thousands of dollars.
"I don't think it's fair that women have to pay 20 grand to get pregnant or same sex couples have to pay so much to have kids," said Abubo, who's using fertility treatment to conceive.
Dr. Brauer says benefits coverage factors into these fertility decisions. She says her patients are keeping their jobs or searching for new ones based on options.
"If you want to hire the best, most highly motivated talent, then I think this is a necessity, because otherwise, you're gonna have a population that's just stressed out about their future family building. So yes, it's an expensive venture. But I think it's well worth it," said Brauer.
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