Politics: Is it all over for men? - CNN International

The UK is still reeling from the male-dominated EU Referendum campaign where we saw that just 18 percent of all those quoted in the media in the campaign were women.Meanwhile, women in politics are making up for lost time. Angela Merkel has been the most powerful person in Europe for almost a decade now; Home Secretary Theresa May has just made a decisive bid to be the UK's second female prime minister and has already seen off Boris Johnson; and Hillary Clinton has already made history in becoming the first female presumptive presidential nominee of a major U.S. political party. They are all part of a growing list of superstar female politicians around the world including Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, Nadiya Savchenko of Ukraine, and Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland. Clearly something really is changing for women in politics.And yet, things aren't changing fast enough. The roots of the Fawcett Society are in our founder Millicent Fawcett's fight to secure for women in the UK the right to vote on equal terms as men which began with a petition to parliament in 1866. Some 150 years later and women's representation remains dismal in the UK with women making up just 29 percent of MPs. It has been more than 50 years since Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the first modern female head of government in the world. Since then we've had a great number of powerful and important female leaders including Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto, Yulia Tymoshenko, and Christine Lagarde, currently head of the IMF. CEO of the Fawcett Society, Sam SmethersCEO of the Fawcett Society, Sam SmethersDespite these high profile examples of women achieving the top jobs, they make up only 23 percent of national legislators worldwide.Some countries are leading the way: Rwanda has the highest representation of women with 64 percent women in parliament and Senegal is sixth with a 43 percent female legislature. Meanwhile, the UK is 48th with 29 percent, and on 19 percent the United States is a very poor 97th, falling behind Afghanistan with 28 percent. Despite some of their recent woes, men are still the majority of top politicians around the world, making decisions for all of us. Why are we still missing so many women in our politics? There are three key issues the Fawcett Society has identified -- identification, selection, and attrition. Firstly, not enough women identify politics as an area they can or want to take part in -- only two percent of girls in a survey conducted in the UK identify being prime minister as their career aspiration. Women may feel that politics does not fit with their caring responsibilities and others may be put off by the macho way politics is often conducted. Secondly, even if women then get through that pipeline and decide to stand, party elites who select candidates often have a very clear idea of what the ideal candidate looks like -- and he's not often a woman. Finally, although all politicians experience abuse, women in politics face uniquely sexist abuse and often a macho political culture. Exceptional actorsFawcett research in the UK identified a range of sexist incidents against female councillors in Britain, so is it any wonder that representation of women at local government level has stalled for over a decade at 32 percent. It shouldn't be surprising that the women who do make it through are exceptional political actors in their own right, and excel when they get the top jobs.And it is not just politicians, the lack of women's representation matters for all of us. The evidence is clear -- getting more women in politics doesn't just change politics and the nature of decision making, but the changes accelerate with the more women who take part. Having more women in politics means more attention is paid to issues which specifically affect women, in areas like childcare, domestic violence, and equalities legislation.Change too slowDevolution in Wales and Scotland in the late 1990s saw unprecedented numbers of women elected to the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, resulting in 50:50 representation in Wales in 2003. Within the first two terms of the Welsh Assembly, female legislators were responsible for raising childcare 62 percent of the times it was debated, for raising domestic violence 74 percent of the time, and equal pay 65 percent of the time. This resulted in tangible changes in policy: from longer maternity leave for teachers to housing priority for women fleeing domestic violence. The Hansard Society has argued that female legislators often became strong advocates for areas of policy of particular (but not exclusive) interest to women.So how do we get more women at the top? Change has been too slow for too long, so Fawcett are calling for time-limited quotas for women in positions of power which will help to speed up progress wherever they are implemented, such as on corporate boards. We also think that all political parties should use positive action measures, such as only shortlisting women in certain contests, to improve women's representation at all levels. Focusing on local government is important as a pipeline for strong candidates, but one often overlooked.And it seems obvious, but basic diversity data is often still not collected on people standing for and achieving positions of power, so we recommend that the British Electoral Commission collect and publish diversity data on candidates in the UK at local and national elections and for other countries to do the same.It has never been a more exciting time for women in politics and yet women are still startlingly absent from the decision making table. Equal representation of women is not just fair, it is good politics and good policy for all of us too.


Warriors win Game 2 vs. Rockets with Stephen Curry (ankle) on bench - ESPN

3:06 AM ET

OAKLAND, Calif. -- As Stephen Curry emphatically waved his arms to ignite the crowd and coached from the bench when he could do little else, Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors' supporting cast proved they can win on the playoff stage without their NBA MVP.

They would rather have him, of course, but the defending champions have believed in their depth all along. Golden State played shorthanded down the stretch of the regular season on their way to a record 73 wins.

"We've relied on our depth all year -- not just when Steph's out," Draymond Green said. "I think we're the deepest team in the NBA."

Thompson scored 34 points and dished out five assists, and the Warriors held off the Houston Rockets 115-106 on Monday to take a 2-0 lead in their playoff series, despite no Curry, who was sidelined because of an injured right ankle.

Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala picked up the scoring slack for the Warriors, who beat the Rockets without the injured Stephen Curry.

"It's so much easier without him out there. When Steph's out there, his man just sags in the paint, he doesn't move the ball, he's a very selfish teammate," Thompson cracked. "I'm just kidding, man. He's the exact opposite of that. I think we showed it's hard to fill that void. No one's going to do it by themselves."

Curry cut his pregame warm-up routine short after appearing to be in discomfort when shooting while putting little pressure on the tender ankle.

Andre Iguodala, last year's Finals MVP, added 18 points with four 3-pointers, and Green had 12 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists. He didn't commit a turnover in 39 minutes, his longest stretch without one in the regular season or playoffs.

Now Curry has until Thursday to get healthy for Game 3 in Houston. But the Warriors aren't going to push it with the game's best player.

"We want to make sure Steph is right and that his foot is fine and healthy," coach Steve Kerr said. "Fortunately, we don't play 'til Thursday, and he's got some time to get some treatment."

James Harden had 28 points and 11 assists to lead the Rockets, losers of six straight and 14 of 15 to Golden State. He made 13 of 15 free throws after not attempting one in the opener of the series.

Big man Marreese Speights hit a key 3-pointer from the baseline with 8.2 seconds remaining in the third quarter to make it 86-79, and the deep, versatile Warriors showed they can win on the playoff stage without Curry, just as everybody on the roster believed.

Golden State beat the Rockets without Curry on New Year's Eve on Houston's home court and did so again Monday at rocking Oracle Arena.

Harden considered it a missed opportunity.

"We just didn't do enough to get a win," he said.

Shaun Livingston, who left Sunday's practice with an illness, had 16 points and six assists playing in Curry's place.

After a 26-point victory in Game 1, the Warriors had to work a little harder in Game 2. Dwight Howard's dunk of an alley-oop pass with 6:54 left in the third pulled the Rockets within 71-67, but Golden State kept answering with timely baskets.

Kerr called for better ball movement, hard cuts and intensity on defense in Curry's absence. For much of the game, the Warriors did those things well.

Kerr looked at more film from that Dec. 31 game in Houston the past couple days, after also watching it before Curry's latest injury.

On three occasions in the first half, Harden drew a foul beyond the 3-point line and sent the fans into fits. He missed seven of eight 3-point tries and committed five turnovers.

"Every time we reached, we fouled him, and they were all fouls," Kerr said.

But it was Thompson's three free throws after interim Rockets coach J.B. Bickerstaff's technical with 7:16 to play that helped seal this one. Livingston scored the next time down for a 99-86 lead.

Curry took the court some 90 minutes before tipoff and went through his normal dribbling session before he started shooting, then the ankle became tender.

"It's our turn to step up and carry him," Green said.


Rockets: Houston is 0-5 all time in the postseason on Golden State's home court and 1-6 overall in playoffs. ... Harden went to the free throw line for three attempts -- his first of the series -- at the 6:41 mark of the first, then tried to shoot under pressure from long range midway through the second quarter to draw a foul on Ian Clark.

Warriors: Iguodala's four 3s matched his most in the playoffs with Golden State. ... Thompson hit a 3 in his 31st straight playoff game. He has made 21 of 22 free throws in the series. He made 15 of 16 on Monday. ... Livingston notched his 11th career postseason start and first with the Warriors. ... Golden State had 12 turnovers after committing 18 in Game 1, including 11 in the third quarter.

Learn What You Need To Know Now About Buying The Best HVAC Equipment

Facilities Maintenance can help. HVAC, or heating, ventilation and air conditioning, is how your home stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer. When properly maintained and installedmaintained, you and your family get to enjoy reasonable indoor temperatures all year long. Keep reading this article for advice on upgrades, repairs, installation and maintenance of your home HVAC system.

Make sure you know what kind of HVAC system you actually have, before calling someone to repair your system. Know the brand model and name number. It is also helpful to have the maintenance history. This makes sure your contractor will be sufficiently prepared.

Use a regular outlet timer to control when it is on or off if you have a window air conditioner without a timer. These are the same ones you use for holiday lights, so all you have to do is plug your air conditioner into the timer and set it to cool you during the day.

Clean your permanent air filters or replace disposable ones every single month. If you have the choice, an electrostatic is the best option on the market today. Be sure to turn off your unit before you change the filter as it should never be run without a filter in place.

Make use of a thermostat when you are installing an HVAC. Such thermostats help you save around ten percent when it comes to energy costs. Some can even be controlled from a computer.

Avoid allowing your home to ever get exceedingly hot. Air conditioners can cool a home by just twenty degrees in a short time. If the weather is above 100 degrees, then you'll still be baking in 80 degree weather at first, this means that! Taking into consideration the humidity level, this may not even be adequate for the human body to recover from excessive heat while sleeping.

Ask for references and be sure to call them as well. You are dealing with a high ticket item here, so you'll want to do your due diligence to make sure you are getting the best for your money. Don't stop there, even though ask for references. Call each reference to check. A lot of people don't take that important last step.

Consider a mini-split system instead if you don't want to install ductwork in your home. They work form the outside in, allowing your whole home to cool without a central air conditioner. This allows you to enjoy all of your indoor space in a cool, comfortable way all summer long.

Service your HVAC yearly. This inspection will ensure that your unit is working efficiently, including a freon level and motor check, and oiling moving parts. Those things are going to help your system at peak performance.

Be sure that they're turning in the right direction if you have fans in place to help make your HVAC more efficient. They should be pushing air downwards over the people in the room to help cool their skin. All it does is push hot air into the room if it's blowing upwards.

Change your filter on a regular basis. This is one of the easiest HVAC tips that you can do yourself. It is also one of the least expensive things that you can do to ensure that your system is running efficiently. Clogged and dirty filters can make your unit work 5-10% harder.

Be sure to check and see if it has an Energy Saver button if you have a window air conditioner. Use it if so! This turns off the fan when the unit isn't actually cooling the air, which can save you as much as 30 kwh over the period of a month!

Make sure you wipe up any water that is close to the air intake of the vents of your HVAC system. Clean up any water that is standing around because water can cause mold to easily expand. Some water buildup is normal but if you're picking up water more than once every six months you might have a problem, so contact a HVAC technician.

The energy efficiency of a unit should be taken into consideration when purchasing a new heating and cooling system. Although you should be concerned about the price of a unit, the efficiency of the unit will save you thousands over the lifetime of the heating and cooling system and should weigh heavily on your buying decision.

A great way to reduce the stress on your HVAC unit is to install ceiling fans in your home. During the summer, you can have them blow downward to cool the air and make your home feel more comfortable. In the winter you can reverse the direction and circulate warm air trapped at the ceiling.

Also how well the system is still running, though when you have a short list of contractors to consider, ask the people on their reference list about not only the service they received. Did they need more work down the road? Has the company come back to make things right?

When dealing with HVAC contractors, make sure that you get everything in writing. While verbal contracts are legal in many places, it is usually very difficult to prove them. Having everything on paper is a great way to make sure that no ons is confused about any aspect of the process.

Never hire an HVAC contractor that does not hold a valid license from your state. There are people out there that will offer to do less expensive work since they have no license. While it may seem like a bargain, you will have lots of issues in the event that something goes wrong.

Do not forget to check the references of a HVAC contractor. Lots of folks take them at face value, but that is not always smart. It only takes a few minutes out of your busy schedule to check a contractor out, so don't risk it.

Look for deals on equipment. The equipment you need to update, maintain or repair your HVAC system tends to be expensive. Keep your eyes open for available coupons, store discounts and rebates on this equipment. Stock up on things you always need, like filters, when they are on sale.

As stated in the introduction, it is your home's HVAC system that lets you enjoy a consistent indoor temperature range all year long. Regardless of the season, your properly maintained home heating, air and ventilation conditioning means you rest comfortably inside. Use the advice from this article to make sure that your home stays the temperature you want.

facilities maintenance companies

Black Friday Deal or Dud? How to Shop Smart This Holiday Season - New York Times

Before lining up at a retail store or firing up your computer for Black Friday bargains this week, ask yourself one question: Have you ever scored a great deal from the annual post-Thanksgiving shopping bonanza?

If you were hard-pressed to think of something, you would not be alone. Black Friday, which has traditionally been the moment to flock to stores for steep discounts, and which has evolved to also include major online sales events for retailers like Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart, is not all that it is billed to be. We asked J.D. Levite, the deals editor of the product recommendations website The Wirecutter, for some data on just how beneficial the deals are on Black Friday and the answer was not encouraging.

Year round, Mr. Levite and his team track product prices across the web to unearth discounts on goods of all types, from gadgets to kitchenware. They also look at whether the product is high quality and durable based on their own testing and other reviews, and whether the seller or brand has a reasonable return or warranty policy. By those measures, Mr. Levite said, only about 0.6 percent, or 200 out of the approximately 34,000 deals online, which typically carry the same price tags inside retailers physical stores, will be good ones on Black Friday.

There are just more deals on that day than any other day of the year, he said. But for the most part, the deals arent anything better than what youd see throughout the rest of the year.

Theres a smarter way to shop than relying on Black Friday. With the plethora of web tools now available, consumers can research online and then use trackers to follow product pricing for drops throughout the year. While its a time-consuming effort, the method is more precise for understanding pricing trends, both online and in stores.

One useful tracking tool is Camel Camel Camel, which is geared toward users of the online retail behemoth Amazon. Using the Camel Camel Camel website, people can view a products price history on Amazon.com and then create alerts to receive an email as soon as the items price falls to a certain threshold.

By following prices over time, interesting trends emerge. One is that some product prices are raised in October, a few weeks before Black Friday. The prices are reduced again on Black Friday.

Mr. Levite cited the example of the Basis Peak Ultimate Fitness and Sleep Tracker, which was listed on Amazon at around $150 in September. At the beginning of November, the gadget shot up to $170. This week, the price tag fell back down to $150.

We do not raise prices ahead of Black Friday deals to make deals look more attractive, Sarah Gelman, an Amazon spokeswoman, said.

Camel Camel Camels database also shows some items have predictable pricing patterns over the course of a year. A pair of bookshelf speakers made by Pioneer are typically $127, but that tends to drop significantly in August to $60 in August 2014 and to $88 in August 2015, timed to the back-to-school season. This week, the same pair of speakers was again $127. In other words, there are times of year when different types of products decline in price and Black Friday isnt one of them.

Price tracking also illuminates the seasonality of products. Between June and August, when people are more likely to plan camping trips, tents often get heavier discounts on Amazon, for example. Camel Camel Camels database showed that a Coleman six-person tent cost $169 in August, but the price is now about $236.

Other items rarely budge in price. A sous vide Ive watched for months is priced around $180; its lowest price was $173 in April, according to Camel Camel Camels database. It wouldnt hurt to buy items like this anytime you want, or to wait for the pricing to drop when a new version of the product is released.

Daniel Green, the founder of Camel Camel Camel, agreed with these assessments. Shopping the Black Friday sales is no different from any other time, he said.

Theres still a way to take advantage of Black Friday by checking for price reductions on specific items like a particular television set that you have been wanting. I found a well-reviewed Vizio television that was $1,633 in April but dropped to $1,098 this month, according to Camel Camel Camel.

Price tracking data also illustrate that the lack of real deals holds true for Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday that is billed as an online shoppers heaven with numerous digital discounts. Rendering the shopping event even more absurd, Walmart has said it would begin its Cyber Monday Sunday evening, so people wouldnt have to stay up late to shop online.

Of course its a tad late to start price tracking now. So for this week, try other web tools like PriceGrabber.com, which compares pricing of products across different retailers. On the website, you enter the name of a product, and the tool pulls up a search. Clicking the Compare Now button shows the bottom line pricing of the product (including tax and shipping costs) for various retailers, including Amazon, Target and Walmart.

The New York Times also tested other shopping tools. They include ShopSavvy, an app for scanning item bar codes to do price comparisons online, and Slice, an app that tracks your previous purchases in case the price of something you recently bought gets marked down later, which may spur a refund.

Some shopping data suggests that consumers are wising up by shopping well ahead of Black Friday. About 25 percent of American consumers had already finished some holiday shopping before Halloween, according to a report from eMarketer, the research firm. The report also said 48 percent of American shoppers last year finished most of their holiday shopping by Cyber Monday, up from 40 percent the previous year.

Some retailers are opting out of Black Friday. Last month, the sporting goods retailer REI said its stores would close during Black Friday as part of a campaign urging people to go outside. Ben Steele, the chief creative officer of REI, said in an interview that the company made the decision after assessing the chaotic environment that Black Friday tends to create.

Do we want employees to leave their families early on Thanksgiving? No, Mr. Steele said. Theres an opportunity for us to do something different. Other stores, like Joes Bike Shop in Maryland and Outdoor Research in Seattle, have since said they were closing shop this Friday, too.

Women Find A Fertility Test Isn't As Reliable As They'd Like

Maria Fabrizio for NPR Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Women concerned about their fertility can use a test to help decide whether they should freeze their eggs now or whether they still have time to have a baby.

But this test, called an ovarian reserve test, is often ambiguous and can be misinterpreted. Some fertility specialists worry that many women will be misled by their results, leading some to feel pressured to freeze their eggs when they don't need to and others to miss their best window to do so.

A few months ago, I was in Samantha Margolis' kitchen in Washington, D.C., where she was getting ready to give herself an injection. In front of her were several small vials filled with hormones. Margolis was mixing the hormones with saline solution and then injecting them just below her belly button.

Margolis did these injections every day for 10 days to stimulate her ovaries to make several eggs grow at once. In a normal monthly cycle, just one egg grows and is released at ovulation, but flooding the ovaries with these hormones coaxes them to make more mature eggs.

At the end of the 10 days, Margolis had a medical procedure to retrieve the mature eggs so they could be frozen at Shady Grove Fertility Center. The idea behind egg freezing is that since the number of eggs and the quality of them decline in women over time, women can preserve eggs when they're younger to increase their chances of having a baby if they have a fertility issue in the future.

Margolis, who's 36, decided to freeze her eggs early this year after getting two key pieces of information about her fertility. First, she learned that her mother had gone through menopause at age 40, and her grandmother had gone through it at 38. (Studies show there is a genetic component to the age at which a woman goes through menopause.)

She also got the results of an ovarian reserve test.

Different fertility centers have different versions of this test, but every woman exploring the option of egg freezing has to take one so that doctors can figure out whether she is a good candidate for the procedure. At many fertility centers, the test involves measuring three different hormones in the blood that typically change dramatically in women between age 35 and menopause. There's also an ultrasound to count follicles, which is where eggs mature in the ovaries.

Doctors put all this information together, to get a rough picture of a woman's egg supply. Margolis' results didn't look good. When she asked her doctor whether she should freeze her eggs, "She said to me 'Samantha, I'm not an alarmist, but I would do this, and I would do it as soon as you can. I wouldn't wait.' "

A technician opens a vessel containing women's frozen egg cells in April 2011 in Amsterdam. A doctor uses a microscrope to view a human egg during in vitro fertilization (IVF), which is used to fertilize eggs that have been frozen.

Two cycles of hormones and $22,000 later, Margolis got just eight eggs to freeze. Doctors recommend having 15 to 20 eggs for the best chance of making a baby with them later through in vitro fertilization.

Margolis says she's glad she froze her eggs when she did. But, she says, "I wish that [this test] was at a certain age was part of your annual [gynecologic] exam. There is no question that if I would have had this test earlier and known what my count was that I would have done this years ago." Had she done the procedure earlier, she also might have gotten closer to the goal of 15 to 20 eggs for freezing.

Reproductive medicine specialists say ovarian reserve testing can be useful for women like Margolis who discover when they take it that their egg supply may be running low. "The ability to both test for your egg supply and at the same time do something about it is really amazing," says Dr. Benjamin Leader, a fertility diagnostics researcher and CEO of ReproSource, a fertility testing company in Woburn, Mass.

Eggs may be more vulnerable to freezing than embryos, but that's just one factor that affects the odds of having a baby with frozen eggs.

But fertility experts also worry that many women will be misled by their test results. "There are issues with the test, the reliability of the test," says Dr. Samantha Pfeifer, an associate professor at Weill Cornell Medical College and chairwoman of a committee at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine that guides doctors in her field.

Women are born with all of their eggs (some 1 million to 2 million total). One mature egg is typically released each month in the menstrual cycle. Meanwhile, other eggs are slowly dying.

Beginning around age 25, the number of eggs starts to decline a bit more swiftly, and then accelerates after 35 until menopause, when eggs are essentially gone. As the quantity of eggs declines, the quality of the remaining eggs is also deteriorating, which can also affect a woman's ability to conceive. (Egg quantity and quality are just a few of many different factors that can make it difficult for a couple to conceive.)

The ovarian reserve test was originally developed to measure egg supply in women who were struggling to get pregnant not in women who wanted to freeze their eggs. Doctors realized that some of these women could benefit from ovarian stimulation to produce eggs to use in in vitro fertilization because they still had a lot of eggs left. Those women responded well to hormones the same ones Samantha Margolis took in her own egg freezing process. (Women undergoing egg freezing and women doing IVF undergo the same ovarian stimulation process to make eggs the difference is that the IVF patients usually use their eggs right away.)

In particular, researchers realized that measuring one hormone, called anti-Mullerian hormone, or AMH, in the blood seemed to help predict whether a woman's ovaries would respond well to the drugs. Higher AMH meant that a woman was likely to produce more eggs under stimulation, while lower levels usually yielded fewer eggs.

In March, the ASRM practice committee that Pfeifer chairs published a paper in the journal of Fertility and Sterility noting that "there is mounting evidence to support the use of AMH as a screening test for poor ovarian response." The paper also noted that the three other hormones fertility centers often check FSH, estradiol and inhibin B are only poor to fair measures of how a woman's ovaries will respond to stimulation or her ability to conceive.

Even though the AMH level may be one of the strongest tools doctors have to assess egg supply, it still can be difficult to interpret what it means, since the range of AMH levels in women of the same age can be huge. Age still is a very important predictor of fertility, but one recent study of about 17,000 women in the U.S. found that AMH levels are very unevenly distributed by age. And AMH may decline faster in some women than others.

Pfeifer says that overall, the ovarian reserve test is not that precise, and is just a snapshot of one moment in time. "These tests do not tell me how many eggs are left; they can generally give you a sense of are there a lot of eggs there, or fewer eggs remaining," she says. "But they're not really predictive of when someone is going to go through menopause or be able to achieve a pregnancy."

Studies have also shown that there can be a lot of variability in test results, even for the same samples from the same woman. Leader says that's because different labs have different methods and don't calibrate their results to the same clinical outcomes.

For example, Leader says, "When results from one lab are compared to another, a 'concerning' result may not be 'concerning' for a given condition, and, vice versa, a 'reassuring' result may not actually be 'reassuring.' " Leader says that the best way to interpret test results is to calibrate the numbers to the "gold standard definition for egg supply," which is the number of eggs retrieved after the ovaries have been stimulated with hormones. This is how his company ReproSource calibrates egg supply for its patients and clinicians.

The worst case scenario of using an inaccurate test is that a woman might feel pressured to freeze her eggs because of ominous results when she actually has plenty of eggs left, while another woman might perceive a rosy outlook when she actually may be nearing the end of her egg supply.

Because of all the uncertainty in measuring egg supply in individual patients, Pfeifer says it's way too soon to be offering this test as part of regular gynecologic exams.

"I think that for some people this test is very helpful in guiding them in decision making, but for other people, it may not in and of itself direct them that accurately," she says.

People in the egg freezing business see it differently. Many of them say all women should get the test to be better informed about their fertility.

"There's no reason why we shouldn't be doing this test on an annual basis," says Jay Palumbo, a vice president at Eggbanxx in New York. It's a company that markets egg freezing with parties branded Let's Chill. Palumbo calls herself a "fertility matchmaker" because she helps women who want to freeze their eggs find doctors who will do it.

She says many of the women who call her looking for a doctor have gotten bad news from the test. "The egg freezing population about 20 percent of them find out they have a fertility issue," she says. "And it's interesting to hopefully catch people early on in the process so hopefully that maybe, possibly they're able to avoid some of the heartache later on."

The heartache, as the fertility industry sees it, is having no eggs, or no good quality eggs, left when the time comes to try and get pregnant.

Many women, though, just won't get clear information from the test. That can make a major life decision like egg freezing more agonizing. You already have to weigh the cost $8,000 to $30,000, depending how many rounds of hormones you have to do and the possible side effects of the hormones, which include ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. And then there's the fact that success rates for a live birth from frozen eggs are lower than for fresh eggs.

The test can be dangerous in other ways, according to Joann Galst, a psychologist in New York City who specializes in women's fertility issues. Measuring your fertility can be like a Pandora's box. "This is a really personal field in terms of how people feel about themselves as beings and their future life goals and parenting, Galst says. "It hits them in a very profound deep way to get any information that there may be a problem in this area."

That's why every woman getting the test should ensure they use a lab that gives meaningful results and find a doctor or nurse trained to interpret these results or women may get an inaccurate picture of their fertility, according to Leader of ReproSource.

Pfeifer of Weill Cornell says that as testing improves, doctors will be able to better guide patients to the right decision.

"Ideally we'd love to know how can we predict who should freeze their eggs, for example, or who should try and get pregnant sooner; who should do something sooner because their fertility decline faster than expected," says Pfeifer. "And if we can say these people don't have to freeze their eggs because they should have no difficulty getting pregnant well into their late 30s well, that'd be great to know that."

But for now, Pfeifer says, this test isn't there.



Fashion is in my blood. When I was a kid, my mom would drive me two hours through crazy LA traffic for photo shoots. I used to hang out with the stylists, try on clothes, get advice. It was a great way to grow up. Eventually, I started giving my friends fashion advice, and never looked back.

After 20 years as a stylist for photographers, I was ready to start a business that would let me evolve my own fashion and consulting style. More than anything, I wanted to share my passion for fashion, and watch as my clients discovered the transformative power of a knock-out look.

Today my clients are CEOs, celebrities, corporate and creative people -- men and women who want serious input on their clothing style, advice on what to wear to an event, or how to put together and pack the most versatile travel wardrobe. I also do styling for fashion shoots, including art direction, makeup, hair, clothing and accessorizing. I’ll make you look great. I promise.