Increasing trend of egg freezing in India

By Dr Ila Gupta
New Delhi, Jan 24 (IANSlife)
Gone are the days, when women were asked to get married at age of 18 – 22 years and were pressurized to complete their family by 24-26 years of age.
Nowadays, most of the women are not ready to start the family due to social and economic reasons.
Eggs freezing comes as a boon and most suitable option for these females who are advancing in age and their biological clocks are ticking. First pregnancy with frozen Oocytes in the world was reported in 1986 by Dr Christopher Chen from Singapore.
Chemo and Radiotherapy has toxic affects on gametes. Eggs freezing was started for cancer patients before starting chemotherapy / radiotherapy to prevent them from losing their eggs and to have their biological children later in future.
Later on this technique was preferred by the patients and treating doctors for other medical illnesses like endometriosis, history of early menopause and also for other social reasons. With the increasing awareness, trend of egg freezing is increasing in India also, the reason being medical and/or social.
On the other hand, one should know that carrying the pregnancy in advanced age has its complications on mother and foetus too. So one should opt for this technique judiciously and at the right time.
Women at the age 40 have upto 45 per cent chances of miscarriage and by the age of 45 it increases to 75%.Freezing their eggs at an early age gives them a fair chance of having a healthy baby at later stage.
It is an easily approachable and affordable process. Best time to freeze the eggs is before 35 years age as the number and quality of eggs drastically declines after 35. Procedure of Egg freezing is absolutely safe and can be kept frozen for as long as one desires.
With the development and advancement in oocytes freezing techniques its no longer in an experimental stage. Latest data says it’s a well established practice with good pregnancy outcome and its use has been extended to fertility preservation and social freezing.
According to current data of Ferticity Fertility clinic, has the survival rate of frozen oocytes 95 per cent, fertilization rate is 85.3 per cent and pregnancy rate is 68.75 per cent.
Egg retrieval is a day care procedure without any cut/stitch, done under general anaesthesia,transvaginally under ultrasound guidance. Patient is discharged on the same day and the eggs are frozen.
When the woman decides to plan for pregnancy, eggs are thawed and fertilized with the sperms to form embryos, they are further cultured in the lab for 3-5 days and transferred in the uterus.
The important factors which determine the success of having a healthy baby is the age at which oocytes freezing was done and the number of eggs stored. Expertise and Experience of clinician/embryologist team is also important to have the good outcome.
As awareness is increasing among general population, more and more women are coming forward. This procedure is gaining popularity in developing countries and in India too.
(Inputs from Dr Ila Gupta, Director Ferticity Fertility Clinics, Delhi)

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