Navigating Egg Freezing Myths: Expert Busts Top Myths
Egg freezing ensures that the eggs remain viable and can be used when the individual is ready to start a family.
Egg freezing is not a painful procedure
Egg freezing, alternatively known as Oocyte cryopreservation, is a medical procedure enabling women to preserve their eggs for potential future utilization. It involves stimulating the ovaries to produce multiple eggs with the help of Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH), retrieving them, and then freezing them at ultra-low temperatures. This process ensures that the eggs remain viable and can be used when the individual is ready to start a family, even if that's years down the line. Despite being a powerful choice, several myths persist in society that make people hesitant about embracing it.
1. Contrary to the misconception that it is only for older women, many individuals of various age groups opt for egg freezing for diverse reasons. This includes career-focused millennials looking to preserve their fertility options or individuals facing medical treatments that could potentially impact their ability to conceive. In fact, egg freezing is most effective when undertaken at a younger age.
2. The idea that egg freezing guarantees a successful pregnancy is false. The likelihood of success is influenced by a multitude of factors, including the quality of the eggs, and the quality of the sperm used for fertilization. Additionally, the journey to achieving a successful pregnancy involves several subsequent stages, such as the delicate process of thawing the frozen eggs, undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), and the critical step of implantation. These intricate steps collectively impact the chances of conceiving through advanced reproductive technologies.
3. Unlike popular opinion, egg freezing is a safe and well-established procedure with a minimal risk of complications. Women can preserve their fertility without jeopardizing their health.
4. Another prevalent misbelief is that once eggs are frozen, they can be stored indefinitely. While eggs can remain frozen for a long time, the success of thawing and fertilizing them may decrease with longer storage periods. Regulations on storage times also vary by location. In India, eggs can be stored up to 10 years, following which they are either disposed of or allocated for research purposes, in accordance with the guidelines outlined in the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act of 2021.
5. Also, the egg retrieval process, a crucial step in egg freezing, is typically performed under sedation and is not known to be extremely painful. Recovery is swift, with most women resuming their regular activities within a day or two.
Egg freezing is no longer a topic shrouded in secrecy. Celebrities have played a significant role in bringing it into the mainstream, dispelling myths, and shedding light on the procedure's growing popularity worldwide. Renowned personalities like Priyanka Chopra, Chrissy Teigen, and Emma Roberts have publicly shared their experiences with egg freezing. Their openness has not only reduced stigma but also encouraged discussions about reproductive choices.
In today's fast-paced world where personal and professional aspirations often intersect, this technology provides women with the flexibility to take control of their reproductive timelines. Whether pursuing higher education, advancing in their careers, or simply waiting for the right partner, egg freezing offers the freedom to delay motherhood without compromising future fertility. This liberating option not only grants women greater autonomy over their life choices but also fosters a sense of security and peace of mind, allowing them to navigate the complexities of life on their own terms.
(Dr. C. Jyothi Budi, Medical Director, Ferty9 Fertility Center)
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