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‘Egg’citing option: About motherhood

DECCAN CHRONICLE | GAYATRI REDDY
Published Jul 6, 2015, 12:37 pm IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 3:36 pm IST
Freezing your eggs in by early 30s is a smart move for women not ready for motherhood

A ticking biological clock is no longer freaking out single girls or young women who first want to achieve career goals or find Mr Right before becoming mommies. They now have the option of a pause button in the form of egg freezing technology.

This form of assisted reproductive technology, which women are using as a back-up option, to have babies in their late 30s or early 40s when they feel truly ready for kids is being called “Social Freezing”. This is a truly liberating choice for women. In fact, corporate giants like Apple and Facebook are fans of this trend as it saves them from losing female employees to motherhood and domesticity. These corporates happily foot the fat bills that come with this procedure.

 

Having your eggs frozen at 25 is considered an intelligent choice in the West by many busy ladies who feel children are not part of their immediate future. “Biologically, the healthiest babies are conceived between 20 and early 30s. After 35, the number of eggs and their quality decline,” explains Dr Suma Prasad, medical director of IVF Labs at Prasad Hospitals.

She adds that chances of conceiving babies suffering from Down’s Syndrome are higher in women in their 40s. Doctors agree that while this trend is popular in the West, in India enquiries are being made. A handful of women have sought out this treatment in Hyderabad. Dr Suma recently did this procedure for two young women in their early 30s because they were not ready to have kids.

So, are doctors fans of social freezing and do they advise this to people who are capable of conceiving the natural way? Nobody is frowning at this choice, and while freezing eggs is the best choice for cancer patients, before they start radiation and chemo, or for people with other medical conditions, doctors warn the rest that this pause button comes with its owns costs, pros and cons.

And neither should you have a casual approach to this, says Dr Preethi Reddy, consultant fertility specialist at Rainbow Hospital. “It is an invasive procedure. On the second day of your cycle, you begin your course of hormonal injections for 10 days to stimulate egg growth. On the 12th day, the eggs are taken under anesthesia and then frozen. This process can cost up to Rs 2 lakh.”

You will be paying another Rs 10-20,000 annually towards freezing costs. The eggs are normally frozen at -196C. Dr Preethi warns that the whole procedure of freezing and thawing eggs is stressful and quality can get affected. Also, the success rate of having a baby with frozen eggs is only 20 to 30 per cent, warns Dr Manjula Anagani, Director, Women and Child unit, Max Cure Hospital. “Once the egg is fertilised, there is no guarantee that you won’t have pregnancy complications that come with age.” Also, the lab where the eggs are being frozen must be a reputed, well-equipped one.

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