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Egg freezing: what is it and its benefits; why are people opting for it?

Fertility preservation is a developing area of medicine that allows individuals to preserve their reproductive health and postpone childbearing if desired. This field provides an opportunity for those who want to conceive in the future.

Health Desk Edited By: Health Desk New Delhi Published on: April 01, 2023 14:00 IST
Egg freezing
Image Source : FREEPIK Egg freezing: what is it; why are people opting for it?

Egg freezing, also known as mature oocyte cryopreservation, is a revolutionary method in reproductive medicine that enables women to preserve their fertility for future use. This process involves retrieving a woman's eggs and freezing them for later use, providing the opportunity to delay pregnancy and childbirth until a more convenient time. Egg freezing has become an increasingly popular option for women who wish to maintain control over their reproductive health and family planning.

Reason for the growing popularity of egg fertilisation: 

When a girl is born, she has a set number of eggs, which is typically around 400,000 in her ovaries. As she gets older, the number of eggs gradually decreases. During her reproductive years, around 100-200 eggs are typically used up during each menstrual cycle each month.

As women approach menopause, the majority of their viable eggs have already been depleted, leaving them with only 1,000 to 2,000 eggs that are typically no longer suitable for use. This can make it increasingly difficult for women to conceive. Furthermore, as women age, they may also develop certain medical conditions that can further impact their chances of conceiving.

Egg freezing: benefits

Infertility cases have been on the rise and it's not just due to delayed pregnancies. Therefore, it is advisable to consider freezing eggs at a younger age, as this can improve the genetic quality of the resulting embryo and the child.

Egg freezing is a reliable method to preserve a woman's eggs for future use, with the advantage of maintaining the quality of the eggs. It serves as a backup plan, much like insurance, to ensure the possibility of a healthy genetic outcome for any future child. This procedure is considered safe and affordable when compared to the costs associated with in vitro fertilisation (IVF). The usual cost range for egg freezing procedure is between Rs 70,000 to Rs 80,000.

Is egg freezing safe?

Egg freezing is generally considered a safe procedure, although there are some challenges involved as the process is similar to IVF. Typically, a woman needs to store a greater number of eggs, ideally around 10-15, to increase the chances of successful conception. To achieve this, a woman is advised to take certain medications, most of which are injectable, to stimulate the development of multiple eggs. The procedure is performed under mild sedation and involves the retrieval of the eggs through the vaginal route. 

When should you opt for egg freezing?

The optimal time for women to consider egg freezing is typically in their late 20s or early 30s. This is because complications related to childbearing can arise after the age of 35, making it advisable to undertake the process at an earlier age to increase the likelihood of future pregnancy. 

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