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Pregnancy on pause: With many women opting for freezing their eggs, experts discuss what the process entails

In a recent interview, actor Mona Singh shared her decision to have her eggs frozen five years ago. Now 39, Singh says that she is focusing on enjoying her relationship with her partner, who she married last year, and travel and will only plan a baby when she is mentally prepared.

 

“Egg freezing has become a mainstream treatment and is no longer considered an experimental process. It is typically opted for by women because of certain medical reasons – where the woman’s fertility is at stake because she has been diagnosed with genital or ovarian cancer, if she needs to undergo chemotherapy or radiotherapy, if she has severe endometriosis, or if she is undergoing gender reassignment surgery. Increasingly, women are also opting to have their eggs frozen as a personal preference. With many women choosing to focus on their career in their 20s or 30s, they are willing to put motherhood on hold until a later age. Similarly, women who have not met the right partner or couples who prefer to attain a certain financial position before adding to their family are opting for this procedure,” shares Dr Vaishali Joshi, a senior gynaecologist at Kokilaben Ambani Hospital.  

She adds that the perception of motherhood has changed in recent years as more women are becoming aware about their reproductive rights, which has led to an increase in the number of queries doctors are receiving about this procedure. Many major firms are also including egg freezing in the health benefits offered to employees, which is encouraging more women to seek this alternative. 

Experts share common questions women may have about the process: 

Who is eligible? 

Dr Richa Jagtap, clinical director and reproductive medicine consultant at Nova IVF Fertility says that this procedure is best suited to women in their thirties. “Women’s fertility is finite. Egg numbers keep decreasing over time and women find it difficult to conceive after the age of 37. Accordingly, egg freezing should ideally be opted for before 37 years of age as there will be a sharp decline in the quality and quantity of eggs after this. When delaying pregnancy for any reason, it is best to medically estimate the egg reserve with an AMH blood test,” she says. 

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Kunal

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