Advances in health care sector have made many innovative medical procedures and treatments available to people and ‘egg freezing’ is one such innovation that is catching up with career-oriented women today. Dr Harichandana Lakkireddi, infertility consultant at Nova Infertility Clinic, explains about ‘egg freezing’ in this interview with Express.
What is ‘egg freezing’?
‘Egg freezing’ is the process of preserving the eggs in the ovaries of a woman for using it for conception in future. This is being opted for mostly by women in their twenties who want to become mother later on in life due to various reasons.
Can you explain it further?
A woman’s fertility is at its highest in the mid-twenties. But in today’s society, most women are not ready to give birth to a child in that age due to career requirements. At the same time, they do not want to forgo their motherhood for career sake. When a woman becomes older, it is harder for her to conceive and the chances of miscarriage increase as number and quality of eggs in the ovaries begin to decline in the mid-30s. ‘Egg freezing’ is the solution to women who want to become mother but at a later stage in life.
What is the procedure involved in it?
Fertility drugs, including hormonal injections, will be given to the woman opting for ‘egg freezing’ to stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs. After two to three weeks of ovarian stimulation injections, the eggs are collected by a fertility specialist. The eggs are then assessed and prepared for vitrification. The eggs will be frozen and stored in a cool and carefully-protected environment. These eggs can be stored for about ten years.
How are the frozen eggs used to make a woman pregnant?
When a woman wants to become pregnant, her eggs store in a cool environment will be warmed again and fertilised with donor or partner’s sperm using intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection. In this method, a single sperm is injected into the centre of the egg, which results in the embryo getting transferred back into the uterus following several days in culture. Within 14 days, the woman will know if she is pregnant.
Is ‘egg freezing’ safe? How successful is it?
However advanced an alternative procedure may be, it can’t match natural pregnancy. But ‘egg freezing’ is the best possible option for today’s women who cannot become pregnant at a younger age for career and societal reasons. Many corporate and IT companies are sponsoring ‘egg freezing’ of their women employees.
The chance of a woman becoming pregnant through frozen eggs is almost equal to her becoming pregnant through fresh eggs. But the only challenge is survival of all eggs in the process. But once eggs develop into an embryo, there will be 100 pc positive result. Also no birth defects or chromosomal abnormalities have been found in children born thus. Therefore we can consider it as safe and successful option for women who want to become pregnant at a later stage in life.