Is Egg Freezing Right for Women Not Ready for Motherhood?

ovariesWomen of a certain age are familiar with the expression that their “biological clock is ticking”. And as careers continue to assume enormous importance for women, many are putting off having a child until their late 30s and even into their 40s.

The practice of having your eggs frozen until you are ready to conceive is one that is becoming more common in developed nations. Now India, one of the world’s fastest growing economies, is catching up on the concept as more Indian women, not ready to settle down and become mothers before their career is established, decide to put a little something away for the future in the shape of frozen eggs.

Women’s fertility is, of course, finite. But in her 20s, when she is at her most fertile and likely to be able to conceive without any problems, many women aren’t ready for a child, often because they haven’t met the right partner or are focusing on their career. For others, the time simply isn’t right.

But sometimes when the time is right, a woman can struggle to conceive naturally. As we age, the quality of the eggs we produce begins to decline. This begins after the age of 30 and continues to decline year on year until by the time we reach 45, we are unlikely ever to conceive naturally using our own eggs.

Indian fertility clinics are now seeing an influx of career women in their mid to late 30s, looking to freeze their eggs to give them a better chance of being able to have a baby later on.

Egg freezing was once only used for women who had serious illnesses such as cancer and required chemotherapy or other treatments that might have affected their later fertility. Today the process is much more commonly used so women can plan their pregnancy at a time that suits them.

The technique is carried out over a 2-4 week period where the woman injects hormones that stimulate ovulation. Doctors then retrieve the healthy ovum from the womb and the eggs are then frozen after being checked via ultrasound and hormone testing that they are viable.

The rise in the number of women going for egg freezing has led to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences planning its own egg banking system.

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