For women who plan to delay starting a family, freezing their eggs is a very good option but what is the correct age for it? A gynecologist shares her views.
With advancements in technology, we have greater control over family planning. Freezing eggs is one such method by which a woman can preserve her eggs to start a family at a later age.
As you probably already know, a woman’s fertility declines over time. The chances of conception and a healthy pregnancy are quite high in the 20s but by the 30s, this percentage starts to go down. Given various aspirations and responsibilities, a woman may feel the desire to delay starting a family. At the same time, she’d want to ensure that an increase in age doesn’t affect her chances of having a baby. In such a scenario, many women are choosing to freeze their eggs. But, one must understand that the quality of eggs also declines with age. Hence, freezing eggs at the right age is extremely important.
What is the process of freezing eggs all about?
To understand more about the right age to freeze eggs, we spoke to Dr Uma who is a senior consultant in the obstetrics and gynecology department at Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh.
According to her, “The process of freezing eggs can be helpful to those women who may not want to have a baby in the near future but definitely wish to start a family someday. On the whole, it is a safe procedure that many women are opting for these days.”
What does the process of freezing eggs entail?
Dr Uma explained that “The idea is to harvest the eggs of a woman and preserve them for later use by freezing them at an appropriate temperature. However, the process begins much before the actual procedure. The woman will go through ovarian reserve testing and tests for infectious diseases such as HIV. Ultimately, her ovaries will be stimulated with the use of certain hormones. This whole process will take several days and will require constant monitoring. Next, the eggs will be retrieved through a simple surgical procedure. After this, the retrieved eggs will be stored at a safe and appropriate temperature for future use.”
So, what is the right age for a woman to freeze her eggs?
Dr Uma says, “It is more ideal for a woman who has crossed 30 because, after this, fertility starts to decline gradually. So, in case a woman has entered her 30s but wants to delay starting a family, she can opt to freeze her eggs timely to minimize issues related to conception and pregnancy.”
Can someone opt for freezing their eggs before hitting the 30s?
“That is entirely the choice of a woman. If a woman in her 20s wants to freeze her eggs beforehand, she can do so. However, most women are quite prolific throughout their 20s and there’s no particular hurry for them to freeze their eggs. At the end of the day, they can make that decision for themselves,” recommends Dr Uma
Does the age of the mother still affect the pregnancy in spite of freezing eggs at a young age?
Dr Uma explains that “The pregnancy may get affected due to the age of the mother even if she’s using eggs frozen previously. But, this will largely depend on her medical history such as having diabetes, or any other such illness.”
So, ladies, if you’re planning on getting your eggs frozen, make sure you speak to a professional about all the aspects of the process.