Women are outnumbering men on college campuses as they're more likely to have a bachelor's degree than their male counterparts. This means more women are entering professions at unprecedented numbers, balancing the pressure of career and family life, making egg freezing an attractive option. However, a recent study presented at the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Geneva found graduate women are not freezing their eggs for their career, but because of a lack of college educated eligible bachelors.

More than 90 percent of 150 women in the U.S. and Israel admitted to not intentionally postponing their fertility because of their education or careers, but because they didn't have committed partners. These women saw egg freezing as a way to buy time while continuing the online search for a worthy single man. In other words, they could not find an educated man who was willing to commit to starting a family.

Read More: Millennial Women Delay Marriage, Choose Egg Freezing To Allow Later Pregnancy

Study author Professor Marcia Inhorn of Yale University noted her research challenged the preconceived notions women were putting off having kids to prioritize their careers.

"Extensive media coverage suggests that educational and career ambitions are the main determinants of professional women's fertility postponement, especially as they 'lean in' to their careers," BBC UK reported.

Companies like Facebook and Apple have even started to offer egg freezing as an employee perk. College, grad school, starting a career and excelling in a career, plus babies, can be overwhelming for women. But, this "perk" was met with opposition as critics viewed this as an attempt to rectify the gender imbalance that exists in both companies.

Regardless, Inhorn's study found women who egg freeze are just "desperately" preserving their fertility beyond the natural end of their peak reproductive age until they find Mr. Right. Fertility preservation is described as a woman removing and fertilizing her eggs in her 20s, so she will have a better chance of becoming pregnant in her 30s and 40s. In most cases, fertility begins to decline in a woman's 30s.

However, success rates are contingent on age and when a woman chooses to freeze them. The older a woman is when she freezes her eggs and when she uses in-vitro fertilization, the lower the probability of success. The likelihood of live births from frozen eggs has remained consistently low, at approximately 20 to 24 percent since 2009.

This means egg freezing provides no guarantee a woman will be able to conceive when she finds a committed partner. Egg freezing has been marketed by companies like Apple and Facebook as a means to delay childbirth for women, but this can give them false hope. The truth is, no one knows how many babies can be delivered from a woman's own frozen eggs.

In the new study, women were highly educated, with more than 80 percent having earned at least a graduate degree. The lack of eligible bachelors is due to the imbalance in the college graduation rate where more women are graduating from college and advanced degree programs than men. Findings from The Condition of Education 2016, a snapshot of education progress in the U.S., found women overall continue to have greater postsecondary success than men; in 2015, 39 percent of women aged 25 to 29 completed their bachelor’s degree, compared to 32 percent of men.

Read More: How Egg Freezing Works, From Someone Who Does It And Someone Who’s Had It Done

So, what's the solution? Should women start to settle in order to fulfill their dreams of motherhood? No.

Evolutionary psychologists will agree we are always searching, whether consciously or unconsciously, for partners similar to us. It's not absurd for graduate women to want to mate with graduate men. It's an evolutionary trait we've inherited from our ancestors: survival of the fittest.

Inhorn's study does shed light on the gender trend that exists in higher education, and what implications it has for both men and women when it comes to reproduction.

Source: Inhorn M. European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Geneva, Switzerland. 2017.

See Also:

How A Woman's Eggs Are Chosen By Her Biology

Could A Hormone Replace Egg Freezing?