There are medical and non medical reasons for egg freezing.
Medical reasons such as cancer treatment, for example chemotherapy can be toxic to the ovaries and cause premature menopause. Other non-cancer medical reasons such as premature ovarian failure due to autoimmune diseases or ovarian surgeries.
But Its not all medical.
About three quarters of women choose to freeze their eggs firstly because they are not in a relationship conducive to childbearing. The second reason is that they defer childbearing in order to focus on education or career. It’s a well-known trend that age of first birth above 35 has been rising worldwide. Women who want to have children face conflicts about their preferred life path because the optimal time for educational and career advancement coincides with the period which the body is best suited for reproduction, women in their 20s and early 30s.
There lies a knowledge gap, the rather widespread and persistent overestimation of both the female reproductive potential and the ability of reproductive medicine to restore that potential.Dr Lim Lei Jun, Fertility Specialist
Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have, unlike men whose bodies create new sperm indefinitely, although age does affect men’s fertility too. Scientists believe that each woman is born with around 2 million eggs, but over time, the quantity and quality diminishes. By age 30, a woman only have about 6 % of the 2 million eggs she was born with. By age 40, many face difficulty conceiving because fewer than 20 % of the remaining eggs are considered” genetically” normal.
Therefore, egg freezing provides an additional option for women or couple, if they have previously banked their eggs, they may use them for family building. Egg freezing offers benefits which include the potential reduced cost of egg freezing compared to multiple cycles of IVF or use of donor eggs. Instead of the need to consider 3rd party reproduction, this allows future families to still have a biologically related child, avoiding the complexities of the like.
Not convinced? Consider these 4 things.
- Egg Freezing improves women’s ability to organize their education, work as they have less pressure from “ biological clock”. It is a potential solution given the constraints women face due to the smaller reproductive window.
- It will allow women time to establish suitable relationship or life circumstances. Preserve the option to have children when she is good and ready.
- Banking your eggs early on potentially eliminating the need for egg donor with associated complexities and costs
- It allows women to control their preserved eggs without risk of the partner retracting the consent which can happen to embryos. The dispute over embryos may arise is the coupe separate or divorce which can pose clinical, emotional and legal difficulties.
Finally, egg freezing is no longer considered experimental, and is now an established method of preserving fertility. In fact, ‘Fertility On Ice’ is the new buzzword in reproductive medicine, along with the emerging need.