When medical science invented the Egg-Freezing technique, it soon grabbed the eyeballs of women from all walks and of all ages. There have been shower of reactions decanted about the procedure since then.
Some consider it a ray of hope and some a subject of misery. The discussions started gaining spaces in news and numerous articles (mine is one among those herds). Let us have a brief view on the procedure, its facets of bliss vs. spell, and few stats from sparingly available data-points.
What Is The Procedure
The egg-freezing is a medical procedural treatment which allows women to freeze their biological cycle in order to pursue their pregnancy at later stage of life due to any explicable and persuasive reason.
In nutshell, the process extracts your or your donor’s eggs, freezes it and stores for later use. And when you decide to conceive, frozen eggs are thawed, fertilized, and transferred to your uterus as embryos. It is similar to the IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) method only with a difference of time between egg harvesting and its usage. In egg-freezing, the harvested eggs are frozen and used later – probably after years.
Why Are Women Opting For It?
There could be a plethora of reasons why a woman would go for freezing her eggs despite knowing that the technique is in sprouting stage. Some of the profound reasons – though not limited – could be:
Are There Any Risks?
Warning from ASRM
Majority of obstetricians and gynecologists as well as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) are still hesitant to recommend the procedure over natural conceiving process. Although ASRM had lifted the ‘experimental’ label from the practice, but apparently that source of catalyst is believed to benefit the women undergoing severe medical treatments such as cancer.
Freezing and harvesting eggs are not a sure-shot formula for conceiving
None of the fertility clinic, doctors, and research articles pledges the 100% success rate. As mentioned in an article egg-freezing-risks of Wired magazine, out of estimated 1.5m IVF procedure performed every year, 1.2m fail – that is the chances of your success is merely 20%.
The grueling dosage of hormones
In order to produce more quality eggs, one has to intake huge amount of hormone dosages. You should prepare yourself to get used to enormous syringes, tablets, internal checkups, and undoubtedly the side-effects. This amount of medicine will incur impact not only on mother’s physical and emotional peripheral, but also on eggs.
This clinical procedure owing to its exorbitant cost procedure is considered a privilege of opulent. There are some employers who are generous enough to share the encumbrance, but not all women are fortunate to have such employers. You might have to pull the money out-of-packet and risk it for nothing, in case of unsuccessful implantation.
Mental and emotional repercussions
The cumulative effect of prolonged fertility treatment, failed cycle(s), and recommendations for using donor’s eggs because your eggs are not proven effective could be excruciatingly painful experience. And above all, the dreadful though of not conceiving could be a nightmare to hopeful would-be-mother.
Unsuccessful attempts of vitrification
‘Egg, once frozen, lasts indefinitely’; although experimentally it is been proven that fertility and pregnancy rates with fresh eggs are same as that of frozen eggs. At the same time, some other organizations doubt the credibility of egg-freezing technology in terms of women’s age, clinic’s success rates, etc. They also suggest that it should be used as a secondary option. A significant number of results published in various media articles indicate that frozen eggs from young women (or women donors in 20s) stands higher chances in delivering babies, 43% of treatment cycle, than the fresh eggs of older women (in 40).
What is The Right Time To Start Egg-Freezing?
Can I Think Anything Other Than Egg-Freezing?
Employers and women employees, you should focus more on devising strategies which would enable you to achieve better work-life balance than on strategies motivating to push biological clocks. Adding egg-freezing in medical benefit plan would not be the most lucrative perk in long run for a sole reason that egg-freezing delays the pregnancy, not stop it. Sooner or later, when women employees prefers to embrace motherhood, then the schemes deliberated in favor of work schedules and health-care would be proven more pragmatic and effective.
The egg-freezing technology has been gaining momentum since past couple of years but is still in its nascent phase. Before making your mind up for this, you certainly need to perform massive research work about the latest changes in the process and the clinic’s success rates and packages. Additionally, you need to be mentally and emotionally prepared that the probability of successful implantation could be rare.
Shweta Kumari Sharma
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