Actress Priyanka Chopra recently revealed that she froze her eggs in her early 30s. She welcomed a baby girl via surrogacy in January 2022. In a recent interview, she said that she decided to freeze her eggs on the advice of her mother, Dr Madhu Chopra, who is a gynaecologist. Egg freezing is also known as oocyte cryopreservation. Conceiving becomes more challenging for women in later years than younger women. Egg freezing helps women have children later in life without worrying about their biological clock. Pregnancy with frozen eggs is not as successful as it is with fresh eggs. However, it offers a possibility of conceiving in the future. To understand more about this procedure, we spoke to Dr. Aruna Kalra, Director, Obstetrics & Gynaecology at CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram. Let's take a look at the details.
Understanding the process of egg freezing
The quality of a woman's eggs tends to deteriorate as she ages. Egg freezing allows a woman to postpone pregnancy until a later date.
Dr Karla explains, "Egg freezing is the procedure of removing eggs from a woman's ovaries and storing them for later use when the woman feels ready for conception and pregnancy. These frozen eggs are safe to use and are of good quality to be used at a later stage. The frozen eggs can be preserved for several years before being utilised for fertility preservation or in vitro fertilisation (IVF) if natural conception is not attainable."
In the process of egg freezing, the eggs of a woman are stimulated with the help of medications. Then these stimulated eggs are removed from the ovaries and frozen for later use. These eggs are then fertilized with the sperm when desired to create the embryo. Once the embryo is formed, it is implanted into the uterus and the baby grows normally.
Egg freezing, a boon for women
Dr Karla explained women who are undergoing medical procedures that may harm their eggs and ovaries, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other cancer drugs can choose egg freezing.
Furthermore, as women become older, they are more likely to have health problems including diabetes, fibroids, high blood pressure and endometriosis. These diseases can have an influence on fertility and the capacity to have a healthy baby. Therefore, egg freezing is a possible option for women with these conditions.
Who should opt for this process?
"Egg freezing can be a valuable option for women who want to delay their pregnancy due to career priorities and other life goals. Other than that, women who have a medical condition that may impact their fertility or who have a family history of premature menopause, as well as women who have not found a suitable partner but wish to maintain their fertility for the future, may benefit from egg freezing. Also, women whose partners are getting treated for male infertility can also choose the same," Dr Karla adds.
(Dr. Aruna Kalra, Director, Obstetrics & Gynaecology at CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram)
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