As soon as a woman turns 23, parents, neighbours and distant relatives who haven't talked to you in decades will come knocking at your door, inquiring about your marriage plans. And if you do get married, the questions will level up to when you are going to have a kid. And this vicious cycle never stops.
With many women opting to postpone marriages and many other delaying childbearing in order to pursue educational or other personal goals, the women who would like to have kids later are made to think that their biological clock is ticking. With the constant pressure, they're left wondering if their eggs will be viable enough when they age. Freezing your eggs is an option that many haven't explored yet. With it, you can actually stop your biological clock from ticking!
Freezing eggs, or Oocyte Cryopreservation, is the process through which a woman can have her eggs extracted, freezed and stored at a facility and use them later whenever she and her partner decide to have a baby.
When do I get my eggs freezed?
As long as you are in your prime, reproductive age, you can opt for egg preservation. Freezing your eggs at an early reproductive age will ensure a higher chance of fertility and maximise your chances of getting pregnant.
Why should I opt for it?
Often, chemotherapy and radiation treatment can harm eggs and damage one's fertility. Women who have been diagnosed with cancer and would like to have kids, often, do not know that egg preservation is an option. So, if a woman wants to have children in the future, she can opt for this method right before the cancer treatment sets course.
It is also a good option for women who want to give priority to career, education and other personal things and have kids later in the future.
How is it done?
Fertility hormones are given to a woman who has opted to get her eggs freezed. These hormones stimulate the ovaries to produce follicles that contain the eggs. After 2-4 weeks, when the eggs have matured, the patient is put under sedation, and they are extracted through the guidance of an ultrasound using a needle that is placed through the vagina. Eggs are then frozen using either a slow-freeze method or a flash-freezing process known as vitrification.
For how long can they be preserved?
Your eggs can be preserved for as long as 10 years, without changing its productivity.
Most girls are told repeatedly that their biological clock will stop working after 30 and that they won't be able to have children once they cross that threshold. With egg preservation, this argument becomes useless.
How much does it cost?
It usually costs somewhere around ₹1.5 lakh, along with an annual storage fee which can vary beginning from ₹20,000.
Are there any risks involved?
While Oocyte Cryopreservation is a fairly novel idea, there are certain risks involved as well. But technology is getting better and most women who've had their eggs frozen earlier have been able to successfully deliver a baby.
Since the cost of egg freezing is quite high and is not covered by insurance, many companies like Facebook and Apple are now offering to pay for the expenses which a female employee might incur if she decides to freeze her eggs.