What is Egg Freezing?
Egg freezing or oocyte cryopreservation is a scientifically advanced technology that is developed especially for career-oriented females who want to delay their child bearing age. This process involves-
- extraction of the female’s eggs (10-15 in number) at a peak fertile age of 20s
- preservation of eggs at –196 °C using liquid nitrogen
- Eggs are dehydrated followed by filling with an anti-freeze to preserve the cell integrity
- Egg cells are then frozen either slowly or instantly using the flash-freeze method called vitrification.
- Storage until the female desires to conceive (for up to 10 years).
The necessity to carry out this process at an early stage is backed by the fact that the eggs start to deteriorate by the 30s which can lower the odds of conceiving successfully and delivering a healthy child.
The Cost of Egg Freezing
The cost of egg freezing, in the beginning, depends on your age and fertility status, which is confirmed by Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) test.
The egg freezing cost including vitrification can approximate to around Rs 50,000 (excluding fertility medicines). The cost including vitrification and fertility meds goes up to about Rs 1,00,000 to 1,50,000. The Storage charge per year can cost Rs. 15,000- Rs 20,000.
On the other hand, embryo freezing costs Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 per month.
Popularity of ‘Egg Freezing’ among the Females
The popularity of this process in India is yet in its very beginning, as the majority of girls used to get married at their early age. With a changing phase, as the females now are working harder than ever to seek empowerment and a self-dependent status, the popularity of this process is luckily set to rise. “There has been a 25% growth in the UK females opting for this procedure from 2001-2014”- The Guardian
It is equally advantageous for women who need to undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which is toxic for the eggs and can dampen their fertility.
The myth that the baby conceived using a frozen egg or embryo can have congenital disabilities does not hold true if the eggs are preserved at an early age before the 30s.