Source: Nbc News
IVF, sperm donors, surrogacy these words no more make us wonder. The world has changed and so has Indian society. Although not everyone has accepted these technologies with open arms, the good thing is that at least they know. We are no more alien to these terms. We don’t even call them “foreign me hota hoga yaha nahi”.
The newest technology in this concept is freezing your eggs. Freezing eggs is a major boon for women. It allows one to stop worrying about the constant ticking of the biological clock concerning embracing motherhood and getting pregnant when it’s the right time.
What is Egg Freezing?
IVF labs have been freezing sperms and embryos for a long time however freezing eggs was difficult. The egg is the largest cell of our body and contains a lot of water. Freezing them means forming ice crystals. But thanks to the latest technology it’s now possible to freeze your eggs. The process is called vitrification or flash freezing. Eggs are frozen in liquid nitrogen and this is the new method of cryopreservation.
Who Can Opt for freezing their eggs?
Any woman who wishes to freeze their eggs can do so however after reading further you will get an insight into how beneficial freezing of eggs is for women. Many women might not even have considered freezing but reading this will give them hope.
- Any woman who is undergoing cancer treatment can opt for freezing of eggs. Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy can affect a woman’s fertility. Freezing of eggs will ensure the woman can focus on the treatment and not worry about pregnancy and childbirth. After the treatment is over she can unfreeze her eggs and get pregnant.
- Sometimes in in-vitro fertilization procedure, the eggs are retrieved but a partner is either not available or didn’t produce enough sperm which can lead to delay and loss of money. In this case, the eggs can be frozen till the required sperm is produced.
- Medical conditions like PCOS, PCOD, Endometriosis, etc can affect fertility. Many attempts may be required to conceive. This affects a mentally and also physically to a woman. In such a case, if a woman is not ready to try multiple times due to other priorities, she can consider freezing the eggs and use them when needed without worrying about conceiving.
- Apart from this, just if you do not wish to get pregnant currently and still be sure about the ability to conceive later, you can freeze your eggs.
What do our celebrities say about egg freezing?
With busy schedules and priorities, not everyone wants to embrace motherhood asap. Some medical conditions also hinder fertility. The fertility period is sadly limited, by 39 years of age, it is said that 90% of women’s eggs have gone. Hence some celebrities have opted for freezing their eggs so that they can conceive in their own time. Let’s see what they say about this procedure.
1. Emma Roberts
Speaking candidly in her Cosmopolitan cover interview, the Scream Queens star revealed the impact an endometriosis diagnosis had on her life. “A few years ago, I learned that I’ve had undiagnosed endometriosis since I was a teenager. I always had debilitating cramps and periods… I mentioned this to my doctor, who didn’t look into it and sent me on my way. In my late 20s, I switched to a female doctor. She ran tests and sent me to a specialist. Finally, there was validation… but by then, it had affected my fertility. I was told, ‘You should probably freeze your eggs or look into other options.”I said, ‘I’m working right now. I don’t have time to freeze my eggs.’ To be honest, I was also terrified. Just the thought of going through that and finding out, perhaps, that I wouldn’t be able to have kids. I did freeze my eggs eventually, which was a difficult process.”
She added that speaking to other women helped her massively. “I felt like I’d done something wrong [until] I started opening up to other women, and all of a sudden, there was a new world of conversation about endometriosis, infertility, miscarriages, fear of having kids. I was so grateful to find out I was not alone in this.”
2. Mona Singh
Mona Singh got married at 39 but she is in no rush to have babies. The actress had shared with ETimes TV, “I have frozen my eggs and now I am free. I did that at the age of 34. Because I have gotten married now, I want to chill with my partner and travel the world with him. I haven’t done that yet. I have always traveled with my family or friends. I want to do that with my husband now and it is a different feeling now — going for walks, getting all the attention, keeping Karwa Chauth vrat – all this is so nice. Even though I love kids, if you ask me now, I am not mentally prepared to have one. Later in life, I would think about it.”
3. Diana Hayden
Diana Hayden froze her eggs many years ago and got pregnant at the age of 42. She was mocked by friends for doing something like this but she trusted the procedure. She is a mother of three children now, including a twin. “I only confided in close friends about my plans back then. They thought I was completely insane to consider something so outlandish. There was a sense of fear on their part, fear of an uncommon medical procedure. But I couldn’t see why I shouldn’t opt for a procedure that would allow me the freedom to choose when to become a mother, age no bar,” she says.
Let us now see the steps involved in the process.
Step 1: Scanning for Cysts and Ovarian Reserve.
First of all, you will be scanned for any complicated diseases like STDs or the presence of any cysts. In the case of cysts, they will be treated first. The quality and quantity of eggs in the ovaries will also be screened. It will help to predict the result of the drugs.
Step 2: Induced Ovulation
After screening, on day one of your menstrual cycle, you will be induced for ovarian stimulation. This will help to produce more eggs during your cycle. You will be given synthetic hormones which will lead to the production of more eggs than normal.
Step 3: Retrieval of the eggs
Retrieval of eggs is done under the supervision of a doctor using anesthesia. The procedure is called transvaginal ultrasound aspiration. The follicles are located using a probe in the vagina. A suction device is connected to a fine needle that is put inside the vagina into the ovaries from where the eggs are sucked out. The procedure can take 20- 30 mins.
Step 4: Freezing of eggs
After the eggs are retrieved they are frozen at sub-zero temperature (-196° c). This will stop all the further biological activities that may happen in the egg and eggs will be now frozen.
- Women can go back to their normal activities within a week of the procedure.
- Have protected sex to avoid unwanted pregnancy.
- In case of severe bleeding, high fever, or abnormal weight gain, one should consult the doctor immediately.
Myths about egg freezing
Source: Pussy Pedia
1. Freezing eggs is painful and tedious
As we have seen that the entire procedure is done under anesthesia, there’s hardly any pain. You may get a slight discomfort when the aspiration is done through the vagina, apart from that it’s very easy. Good aftercare will ensure that you get back on your schedule easily in a few days.
2. The quality of the eggs deteriorates in egg freezing
The eggs are frozen using cryopreservation at -196degree Celsius temperature in nitrogen. The eggs are frozen in the same state till it is thawed. There’s no change in the environment hence they remain as it is.
3. Freeze your egg after 39 years of age when you are sure of no other way to get pregnant
The quantity of your eggs starts depleting after 30 years of age. As you grow older the eggs are reduced and also the chances of getting pregnant get reduced. You must think early if you want to freeze the eggs. The late 20s and early 30s are the best age to freeze the eggs. The eggs can be frozen for about 10 years.
1. What is the risk involved in freezing the eggs?
After the removal of eggs, ovaries may be swollen and can lead to pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and bloating. During the procedure, there’s a risk of bowel damage due to the use of fine needles, infection, and even damage to the blood vessel as it’s a very fine procedure. An experienced doctor and good aftercare will keep you away from all the unnecessary complications.
2. What is the cost of freezing eggs in India?
The cost of the entire procedure including screening and retrieving of eggs along with the storage for that annual calendar year would be around $1000/-. After that, the storage for each year can be bought separately. The cost of thawing and fertilization can cost you $5000/- separately which will be conveyed to you at the beginning of the procedure.
3. What is the age restriction to freeze the egg and also to get impregnated?
As long as you are healthy and menstruating you can freeze your egg however the earlier the better the chance of getting fertilized later. It is said that one should think about freezing the egg before 35 years of age. Getting pregnant is not an issue. The eggs will be fertilized and you can get pregnant anytime even after your menopause. The uterus stays young forever and you can carry a baby if you are healthy and strong-willed at any age.
Best Hospitals in India for freezing the eggs
New Delhi, India
Established in: 2011
Established in: 2012
Established in: 2011
New Delhi, India
Established in: 2001
Established in: 2006
Established in: 1991
Established in: 2006
Established in: 1996
Established in: 1995
Established in: 1997
Established in: 1999
Established in: 1950
Besides these many hospitals and IVF centers have egg freezing facilities. You can visit the one near you and get personal counseling one-on-one too.