Twisted Ovaries

We can do many things.  We will be able to do even more.

But we must start asking in earnest: Ought we do may of the things we can?

From the Daily Telegraph:

Women could delay the menopause indefinitely with ovary transplant: doctors
Women could remain fertile indefinitely after successful ovarian transplants lead to births and delay the menopause, doctors have told a conference.

A technique to remove pieces of ovary, store it for decades and then replace it with delicate surgery could effectively put a woman’s menopause ‘on ice’, doctors said. [Who comes up with this stuff?]
The only thing preventing them from having babies into their old age would be their physical ability to carry a pregnancy, they said. [Because we know better than God how the timing of our lives should run.]
The controversial notion [Get this...] would allow career women peace of mind with a fertility insurance policy so they can find a partner, settle down and become financially secure before starting a family. [GRRRR... I know that people are growing up later and later.  I know that women were lied to by the Betty Friedan's of the world, and are still being lied to by the entertainment industry and academia.  I also know that the distortion of sexual differences and roles have resulted in an even greater confusion about identity and has crippled our culture at the level of our culture's future (our youth).  But... that said... that just seems damn selfish, to me.  ME ME ME... I... I... I...]
By delaying the menopause they could also avoid the increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease that come with the end of their fertile life but may raise the risk of breast and womb cancer. [And that is how they sell the idea, right?  I remember seeing contraceptive hormone patch commercials on TV which added the enticing news about how beautiful they make your skin... evil jerks.]
A conference heard how 28 babies have been born worldwide to patients who either had their own ovarian tissue removed before treatment that would have left them infertile and replaced afterwards or twins where one donated tissue to the other.  [GREAT!  Another new market!  Let's sell body parts and sell fertility!  If there are now altruistic donations, a market will follow.  No?]

[...]

There’s a lot more.

I am all for treatments that might help or alleviate suffering from osteoporosis, and so forth.  But this seems to me like something very dangerous.

I once read a book that scared the stuffing out of me: Frank Herbert’s The White Plague.  A madman engineers a disease which kills only women.  Society, obviously, goes to pieces.  This is in part because women civilize men.  Young women need to learn to civilize young men.  However, when young women begin to behave as coarsely as men will tend to when they have only male company, that civilizing effect is removed.  In their false freedom from what feminists claim is the oppression of cultural conditioning, they endanger themselves even more.  In a head to head conflict with men in coarseness or force, women will lose and men can walk away.

This new scientific development looks like it is being sold as a freedom from nature and therefore from roles.  Everyone loses when this agenda is pursued.

UPDATE:

The Daily Mail has an editorial on the matter HERE.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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35 Responses to Twisted Ovaries

  1. Philangelus says:

    I don’t know, Father. Don’t you think most women would leap at the chance to be chasing a toddler in their sixties? And making college tuition payments in their eighties and ninties?

    Having said that, though, this does have a very important application for girls and young woman who receive cancer therapy that might otherwise render them sterile. If they could remove parts of their ovaries, then receive radiation therapy or chemotherapy, and then have their ovaries restored, they might be able to cycle as normal and be restored to normal fertility. What an amazing gift that would be! [Sure. But that is not how this is going to be promoted.]

  2. majuscule says:

    Having had my children young, now that I am much much older I can only wonder W H Y would a woman my age want to be pregnant?

    I have often heard (and agreed), “Why didn’t I have my grandchildren first!”

    This would not be the same.

    Although I have gained wisdom with age I am glad I was able to be young with my children.

  3. Sissy says:

    Was there some outcry from women for a means to avoid menopause? Surely the market for giving birth in ones senescence is fairly limited.

    I, too, had my child while young, and now revel in delightful grandparenthood. There’s a lot to be said for being able to enjoy a small child and then hand him back to his momma and poppa.

  4. Suburbanbanshee says:

    It’s not even selfish. It’s self-hating. Being a normal woman with normal working body parts is constantly presented by society as not good enough, too cumbersome, too messy, too ugly. This is just one more anti-woman measure; bind the feet, “circumcise” the hooha, lock up the ovaries in a freezer. Anything but be ourselves. If feminism was doing anything useful, it would fight against this. But of course, it’s busy insisting that women take pills, use implants, or get themselves and their babies chopped and changed with abortion. They don’t love themselves either, no matter how much they make a fetish out of being seen to worship various feminine body parts. There’s something sick and wrong about never seeing yourself, but only how you fall short of some ideal of sex appeal or political correctness.

    Even when I was young, a tomboy, and not totally happy about all the weird ramifications of puberty, I never hated my body. A lot of women do, because they’ve been taught to do so. It’s not healthy. Both male and female, God made in God’s image and likeness. We need to feel reasonably secure about that.

  5. JohnE says:

    As a father who was more concerned with doing some traveling before starting a family at 37, I can say that being a dad would probably have been more enjoyable if we started at 27. I think I speak on behalf of my wife as well — we would have more energy and motivation to do things with our kids. We still enjoy activities with kids, but it would definitely be easier with two boys at 9 and 6 at 36 than 46. The “career-minded” woman who wants to delay marriage and family and start this when she would normally be starting menopause is going to have a much more difficult time attracting a willing husband. Things are better left to God’s timing.

  6. I tell all the young couples who I meet that getting married to throw the birth control out the window. There will never be the perfect time and you have no control anyway so give up. I wish that was what we did initially. We learned quickly but still. Women can’t have it all and shouldn’t be expected to. I don’t want it all. I’d give my right arm not to have to work even part time – I’d rather be at home. Sigh. Just when I think I’ve heard it all.

  7. frjim4321 says:

    Having learned a bit about the relationship between hormone levels and cancer I would be really hesitant to get on the band wagon about therapies like this.

  8. Sissy says:

    frjim4321 is right on the money; I have relatives in the medical field who believe it’s very likely that the massive hormone treatments Elizabeth Edwards underwent in order to conceive her last two children led to her breast cancer.

  9. Johnno says:

    The very idea of having any unnecessary medical procedure done, particularly to remove organs etc. all makes me so uneasy… For purposes like this that don’t necessitate some emergency or danger, its almost like self-mutilation. Soon I’ll suspect that it’ll someday be en vogue for a lot of people to remove their brains to keep in a jar so as to further enjoy some of life’s great offerings…

  10. OrthodoxChick says:

    I think they could be on to something economically. Think of the savings to be had. All those BOGO sales when the parents AND the children are in diapers together!

    As someone who met and married Mr. Right in my late 20′s (and therefore got off to a late start having a family), I can tell you there’s a BIG difference between chasing around a toddler in your early 30′s and chasing one around in your mid 40′s (which I’m doing now). Not to mention the fact that I am looking forward to receiving a college tuition bill for my 60th birthday present a little further down the road.

    Fr. Z, you asked who comes up with this stuff. My guess is single, geeky scientists who will never have the opportunity to find a spouse and try to raise a family as a senior citizen.

  11. AnnAsher says:

    Agreeing with all of your comments, Fr Z, I’ll add: greed. Greed leads women to expect they are entitled to have babies when and how they choose. I had thought that manipulating fertility was dying out along with strong movements toward natural health … Guess not. I do have two sisters in law though that use NFP purely for its being “organic”.

  12. tioedong says:

    This would be a good option for patients who get cancer, and need radiation or chemo (for years docs have relocated the ovaries so our Hodgkin’s patients can get radiation to their lymph nodes that won’t destroy the ovaries…nowadays they use chemo instead, which can damage the eggs).

    Actually, the story is not very realistic: it is to make headlines and sell papers, but probably won’t happn.

    Late menopause is associated with breast cancer, and, of course, having a late baby is fraught with dangers to the mom.

    Elective pregnancies for rich selfish yuppie women will still probably continue to be via eggs bought from poor women from Eastern Europe and carried by poor moms in India.

  13. teomatteo says:

    “… you’ll pick your son, pick your daughter too… from the bottom of a long glass tube …woe oh woe….” -Xavier and Evans

  14. Ryan M. says:

    This would be horrifying…if it weren’t so completely unsurprising. We really have no idea what we’re getting into, but damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead! Science must be served!

    From the allure of promethean fire, Good Lord deliver us…

  15. Random Friar says:

    Was there something wrong with being human?

  16. gatormom says:

    I had my children in PSR for the first year and volunteered to teach the three year old class. The second lesson was on gender neutrality. This is the Roman Catholic Church indoctrinating our children with a false premise from year three. How can I believe our culture has any hope? Not only do I need to shelter my kids from EVERYTHING in our culture but I have to shelter them from error from our CHURCH. I do not know a single other person besides my father who shares my concerns. Even my own husband thinks that I am crazy at times. He is a Catholic convert and when I tried to get us to an FSSP parish I met with resistance that I never would have believed possible, basically not going to happen if I’d like to stay married to him. And we don’t argue often, this one was ugly. All’s I’m sayin is: this runs even deeper than you may think and they are starting young with our babies. I handed over that PSR book with no explanation other than I had a conflict and couldn’t teach the class. I’d argue with the devil himself, but how do I argue with the Church where I NEED to get my children through First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. There is nobody standing behind me that’s going to address this so it goes on unabated.

  17. Angie Mcs says:

    OrthodoxChick: I also met my husband in my late 20s. We had our last child when i was around 40. Like some of the other people here, we wish we had had our children earlier, but since there was no “us” yet, there were no babies (weren’t we hopelessly oldfashioned) We hAve just been blessed with our first grandchild and love babysitting her but boy, are we tired afterwards!

    Ovaries are not little islands unto themselves but rather a part of a complicated system that God set up to work in harmony. That includes the uterus, Fallopian tubes, even the brain and various hormones, etc. . It doesn’t sound like a good idea to stress these aging components with much younger ovaries. Even the caption under the photo in the article Father mentions says there is no evidence that these babies will not have future defects. Sooner or later, something is bound to go wrong, the entitlement balloons will burst and the lawsuits will begin…when greed takes over, the ensuing enthusiasm generally causes expectations that cant be met.

  18. UncleBlobb says:

    @fatherz: Thank you Father for posting this and for your comments. It’s a great hope to know one is not alone in this.

  19. jflare says:

    “This is in part because women civilize men.”

    I have heard this assertion before and I find it VERY objectionable.
    Seems to me that many men who behave in a civilized manner do so not because of the influence of any woman or group of women, but rather because an elder man or group of men has demonstrated dignity in daily life. I might even suggest that if women have begun civilizing men, then an earlier generation of men has done quite poorly at proper mentorship. That’s rather too common these days.

    As for the women who’d seek to freeze their ovaries or whatever, I read a few of the comments over at the article. Seems there’re more than a few “ladies” who have a great deal of growing up to do. They seem capable only of howling about how somebody wants to “control them”.
    So long as the medical world appeals to the more base urgings of a man OR a woman, we’ll have a civilization of VERY selfish people who’re more interested in following their hormonal drives than in being holy.

  20. Charles E Flynn says:

    The women civilizing men theme:

    A look at same-sex unions — part 3, by Reverend Know-It-All.

  21. Bryan Boyle says:

    teomatteo: “In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus)” was a hit song from 1969 by the American pop duo Zager and Evans. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks commencing July 12, 1969 (trivia: it was the #1 hit on the chart the week Apollo 11 landed on the moon…to me it almost seemed like at the height of our greatest achievement in space..it was like the slave whispering in the ear of a triumphant Roman emperor…’Sic transit gloria mundi’ as he paraded through the city…). It was more prescient than we could imagine at the time.

    While on some twisted level this is almost a predictable development based on society (and the medical profession) to see mankind as a mechanical and utilitarian object, it’s still pretty disgusting, on just so many levels. One, for somehow messing with God’s own plan for our humanity and progression of natural life for no good reason(the height of hubris), and two, for giving in to the selfish whims of self-absorbed and self-reverential people (not to mention the drive towards ‘monetization’ of the technology, no?)

    We’re made in His image and likeness. And He doesn’t make mistakes. Just because we CAN do something…does that mean we MUST do something?

    At 56, am I really (and I’m speaking as a guy…) THAT concerned with the march of time? I’m certainly more aware of the passing of the days as they accumulate…and do understand the loss of certain capabilities (you won’t find me running marathons or pulling all-nighters playing cards…)…but with that comes insights that I never would have had otherwise. Fooling around with that, whether it’s biological processes or experiential knowledge…well, it just seems to be wrong.

    May He forgive our fallen natures for trying to put us first…rather than Him.

  22. mamajen says:

    At 31, it is possible I am facing early menopause, and I am trying to accept that my son may be the only child I have. I will not do anything artificial to mess with my fertility. I have seen friends and relatives force their bodies to conceive, only to experience health problems or heartbreak when they lose the babies altogether. I would adopt in a heartbeat if I had the money, and I wish more people would channel their time, energy and resources in that direction.

  23. mysticalrose says:

    It seems the devil is only content when he can ape, and therefore distort, the actions of God.

  24. OrthodoxChick says:

    Gatormom echoes concerns that I have had as well. I apologize in advance for the following digression, but Gmom’s thoughts get me to wondering…Is there any city/town left in the U.S. that has a large, thriving, active trad population (and several parishes celebrating Latin NO’s or EF Masses)? In other words, is there any such thing as a “Catholic” town anymore, to which one could relocate and raise their children in a community of like-catechized peers? I agree with gator mom that even in “regular” parishes, I feel like I’m constantly swimming against the tide. And I’m new to the TLM so I can only imagine how the rest of you must feel!

  25. Unfortunately allowing capitalism into the surgery room has already created a market for kidneys and hearts, etc. The best thing that could happen is for someone to market a pill that cures feminism.

  26. JKnott says:

    @ Charles E. Flynn Thank you for the link to that true and amusing post on women civilizing men. Wonderful and it is true that the devil hates women because they are life givers.

    God’s life- giving creativity in variety, order, harmony and beauty is endless.
    The devil’s action is the anti-thesis of this. Just when we think we have heard the worst in the latest distortion of life and order, up pops something worse. And even when it seems as if it has hit the bottom of the barrel in evil, the devil finds new ideas that attempt to sink mankind further and further into the abyss of death. What a contrast!

  27. The Cobbler says:

    I don’t think women civilize men. Like so many things, I think civilization happens to man when he’s faced with a need for it and willing to step up to it. Same for maturity. We don’t have mature, civilized men because civilization itself and modern woman had rid us of any need for mature, civilized men. Men are born to do what they have to; if we needn’t do anything, most of us don’t. Even those of us who do better than our culture would have us do so because we have to for some greater purpose we’ve discovered despite our culture’s attempt to tell us all that the only purpose we need concern ourselves with is that which we create (which is to say none, if you’re a creature who simply does what he has to). We’re almost utilititarian by nature; save that there’s a fine difference between doing what you have to but looking toward a more nuanced and transcendant thing to understand what you have to do, and believing that whatever is most useful to the lowest common denominator of happiness is what we have to do.

    No, I don’t think woman civilizes man, but what I do think is that women are quite possibly the only thing really worth being civilized for, something — nay, someone — that we need (we try to mask it under oceans of want, but somewhere down there is a simple need — and it isn’t sex, by the way), and hence creators of most of the world’s have-tos for man to rise to the challenge of.

    Although the Rev. Know-It-All has something going there with the theory that channel-surfing is actually work looking out for the wooly mammoth. Blog surfing seems to be the same thing too. But I object to the notion that for men sex has always been recreational; in practice perhaps it’s a fair generalization, but I’ve known that greater love it’s meant to enact. (Granted, I understand he’s being somewhat tongue in cheek all the way, pointing out that even the most mundane theory of human origins suggesting even the most vulgar understanding of man would still necessitate our serving different roles. And I think there’s some truth to it — I never understood why other guys channel surf till just now, but I’ve seen and wondered enough to recognise instantly that the wooly mammoth is the answer.)

  28. The Cobbler says:

    @Orthodoxchick, I can’t think of any geek I’ve ever heard of, let alone any I know, who’d think for a second about how to make older women have babies. This seems like it has a lot more to do with treating children as something we have a right to than with “having no life”. And on an unrelated note…

    …You won’t find any whole towns of Catholics in the US that weren’t deliberately made that way and kinda spiritually creepy, but in the Midwest you can find plenty of towns where the Catholic community is large enough to have large enough traditionally inclined subsections that you can get together with your TLM-going friends and criticize mutual aquaintances elsewhere in the same town rather than people you heard about online. I say that somewhat tongue in cheek, my point being that while I don’t think the very few Catholic towns I’ve ever heard of are healthy, there’s plenty of places where you can find Catholic community as a subculture of sorts, and sometimes large enough a subculture that you’ll also find the sort of division that can be one of the cons of having strength in numbers.

  29. OrthodoxChick says:

    @Cobbler,

    Yes, I was being facetious about the geeks. Of course, we’re all entitled to whatever makes us happy, aren’t we? I don’t know what the nickname for my generation is, but it should echo the fast food chain advertisement that was popular not too long ago, “Have it your way”.

    Thanks for the advice. Spiritually creepy is NOT what I’m going for. I can find that without leaving New England. I can’t stand having a 50 mile drive (one way) in any direction in order to get to a TLM and I fell in love with it after my first one. I don’t know any trad families or even know where to find any out here. It stinks because I’m trying to raise my kids a certain way but then when they look around at their peers, they can’t find any who are being raised the same way.

  30. The Cobbler says:

    Ah, facetiousness… I’m bad enough at reading it in person; you have to do really crazy overblown to even make me realize you’re being tongue in cheek… unless I know you pretty well already, in which case it’s usually some combination of recognising your tone and recognising your subject matter (and/or already knowing your real opinion).

    Anyway, if you ever have a chance to drive halfway to Texas and then stop suddenly, I can tell you about most of the different little traditional-leaning or at least conservative parishes and/or groups in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati — everything from the FSSP to Dominicans to the Novus Ordo in the original Latin with a Communion rail actually used. If not… best advice I can give is to get to know the other people who drive fifty miles to the only TLM nearby and do what you can; if nothing else, you’re not totally alone up there (after all, they don’t have the EF just for you, and the chances that everybody else who attends it lives down the block are slim)! I have a friend in a Southern State where the EF is relegated to one parish and one net positive is that traditionalists across the State know each other, but one negative is there actually aren’t that many more of them since most people aren’t up for driving hours every Sunday.

    And actually, that might not be the best advice I can give you. I think the best advice I can give you is to read St. Louis de Montfort, for reasons that will appear unrelated until it all comes together. (Be warned, while he’s very big on flexibility in practice and while he very specifically keeps the devotion he recommends out of the area of vows binding on pain of sin, what he proposes is nonetheless pretty hardcore with the spiritual life; a decent spiritual advisor wouldn’t be amiss even if you can only talk to him for five minutes once a month after Mass or something… although, there’s another good piece of advice: schedule some brief spiritual direction sometime during your fifty mile trip to the TLM with whichever priest you like best.)

    And keep reading here if it helps, give it up if it stops helping. (I have had to take a break from this blog myself a couple times because I couldn’t keep myself from reading the wildest arguments in the combox. I came back when I felt I could handle it, because Fr. Z’s got something going here that’s hard to find anywhere else.) If I had any kid-raising advice to add I’d give it, but as I don’t have any kids yet anything I say would be largely untested theory. Although I can recommend from experience the children’s versions of the ol’ Baltimore Catechism — I think those were some of the things I read as a wee lad, although I’ve no idea where they came from (I mean, besides Baltimore, obviously). And I can reccomend teaching little boys to serve at the altar if that’s ever a possibility. And not to worry if they don’t like Latin at school as long as they actually want to pray at Mass and have someplace to read the prayers with translation (I learned more bits and pieces of Latin that way…). And on the other hand that in the Extraordinary Form it’s sometimes nonetheless better to not read the book because it’s harder to follow Father when you’re trying to look up what he’s saying, but how to pray at the old form of the Mass is a discussion topic in and of itself. And I think I’m officially rambling now, which happens whenever I try to A) give an opinion or B) be helpful, and moreso when C) both of the above; I should D) get to bed, owing to this thing called sleep that I haven’t had time to relish in a while (another topic in itself: if you’ve never relished sleep like you relish a good Italian meal, you shouldn’t offer an opinion on rest; not advocating slothfulness, by the way… actually, being genuinely slothful always made it harder to genuinely relish sleep, just like truly enjoying a meal includes enjoying being filled up and therefore conflicts with overeating; but there I go again… it’s like the ramble floodgate in my brain has been opened…).

  31. LisaP. says:

    Suburban,
    Wow, wow, yes. Absolutely.

  32. LisaP. says:

    I think we’re missing something kind of fundamental here.

    A woman is born with her full complement of eggs. If my daughter has a baby, the egg that forms into that baby after fertilization will be one that was present when my daughter was a fetus in my uterus.

    So, if you transplant ovaries, it seems to me you must be transplanting the eggs, right? A woman cannot “make more” — mean make sperm on demand, but eggs can’t be produced by ovaries later, they are only held and distributed by them. So, sorry for the TMI, but once again we have something sold as a medical breakthrough when the subtext is even creepier than the ubertext. This isn’t just about women delaying menopause. This is about women taking someone else’s eggs to make babies with, and not a handful at a time with IVF, the whole basket at once.

    Ghoulish, ghoulish, ghoulish.

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  34. AttiaDS says:

    I didn’t read all the replies, maybe this was already mentioned, but, isn’t abortion advocated for women wanting to have children in their 40s? It’s better to murder that child than have it be a Down’s baby or such, which increases the older the mother is? How can this be advocated if the abortion industry relies on older mothers killing off potentially non-perfect children?

  35. Sissy says:

    AttiaDS: I presume the ovaries transplanted in the older woman will be the ovaries of a much-younger woman, hence, the eggs will be younger. Of course, that doesn’t address the fact that the age of the father is also a factor in some birth defects. However, I believe it has been pointed out on this blog recently that the actual incidence of birth defects associated with older parents is greatly exaggerated in an effort to hype the issue and promote abortions.