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The big thaw


5 Star

The big thaw

Our Review Summary

This story delivers a clear conclusion:  "Bottom line, a woman who wants to conceive a child at some point in the future should carefully consider the options — the risks, costs, and unknowns."


Why This Matters

In the face of a practice "gaining in popularity,"  this story did a public service by explaining how much is not known about the practice of freezing eggs, and by issuing a clear caveat to consumers.  This method could be applied to many health news stories every day.


Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?


Excellent.  Estimate of $10,000 or more per procedure and states that insurance usually doesn’t cover it.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?


The story says there are "few reliable statistics" in one place and "there are no reliable numbers for how many women have chosen to have their eggs frozen so far" in another and "there are no guarantees" in a third place.  So when you don’t know the denominator and are unsure of the numerator, it’s hard for women to pinpoint the potential benefits.

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?


The sidebar has a list of bullets of "things to consider before freezing your eggs" that is, in essence, a list of potential harms.

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?


The story is quite clear about the unclear picture of the evidence for egg freezing:  "few reliable statistics…two professional groups still consider egg freezing experimental…there are no guarantees."

Does the story commit disease-mongering?


No disease mongering in the story.

Does the story use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest?


Several good independent sources cited.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Not Applicable

Not applicable. The story didn’t really compare egg freezing with other fertility approaches, but that’s OK because it really focused on questions about the egg freezing trend. The story did touch on several advances "nudging the use of egg-freezing forward" and on several methods to test the genetic viability of both eggs and embryos.

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?


The story is clear about the availability:  "half of 282 US fertility centers surveyed offer egg freezing."

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?


The story states that it "is new enough that there are few reliable statistics."  Good context. And, at  the end, it says that "Still, several advances are nudging the use of egg-freezing forward." 

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?


This story did not rely on a news release.

Total Score: 9 of 9 Satisfactory


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