The modern woman is quite ambitious, full of aspirations and has no hesitation in choosing her career as her primary focus in her late twenties and early thirties. This results in many women pushing their motherhood plans beyond the age of 35.

And consequently, they may face certain problems in getting pregnant. This happens because with age, the number as well as the quality of a woman’s eggs decline. This is popularly known as the biological clock of a woman. It keeps ticking and the woman’s fertility goes on declining with time.  

However, there is a way to pause this biological clock. Science has advanced tremendously and today, we can very successfully freeze a woman’s eggs for future use, explains Ms Goral Gandhi, Founder and Scientific Director at Global Fertility Solutions, Mumbai. Ms Gandhi has been a consultant clinical embryologist for over 25 years now and is recognized as a pioneer in the field of egg freezing and fertility preservation. 

She sheds light on 5 important things that a woman must know about egg freezing:

  • What is Egg Freezing?

Egg freezing is a process in which a woman’s eggs are extracted and cryopreserved at -196c temperature using an advanced technique of freezing called Vitrification (flash freezing). It all begins with your fertility assessment and consultation. This is then followed by a process known as ovarian stimulation where by a woman is given injections to make multiple eggs in her ovaries. The eggs are retrieved at the correct time and cryopreserved using vitrification. The eggs are then stored under liquid nitrogen till the time of their use. According to Ms Goral Gandhi, the technique is now highly advanced and if performed by the right experts using the right tools, then it can achieve excellent results. 

  • When is the best time to freeze eggs?

The best time to freeze eggs is before your 35th birthday, in your early thirties. As women age, not only the quantity, but even the quality of their eggs decline. This means that it gets more and more difficult for her to become pregnant; the chances of miscarriages increase and so does the chances of genetic anomalies in the children. Goral Gandhi says “ even today, women are not well informed or educated about their fertility. They come to us too late, when even though they are ready to spend more, there is a little that we can do “

  • Who should consider freezing their eggs:

All those women who are not ready to have children, either for personal goals or due to some medical conditions. 

~ Medical conditions: Women suffering from diseases like cancer, auto-immune diseases, risk of early menopause, endometriosis etc should consider egg freezing. Either the disease itself or the treatments needed to cure the disease has an adverse impact on a woman’s fertility potential. 

~ Personal goals: Women pursuing higher education or professional career may wish to delay childbirth. Unfortunately for women, their peak fertility coincides with the time that is crucial for them to fulfil their other goals. Egg freezing gives them an excellent opportunity to focus on their goals without worrying about fertility. 

~ The single woman: A woman who is around 32-33 and has not found her Mr Right yet need not get married only because she is worried about her fertility. Freezing her eggs can give her the time she needs to choose her life partner. 

  • How do you use frozen eggs to achieve pregnancy?

Once you are ready to start a family with your partner, your uterus will be made fertile and your uterine lining  will be prepared to receive the embryos. Your eggs will be thawed and fertilized using the ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) technique with partner’s sperm. The resulting embryo/s will be transferred back into your uterus.

  • How successful is egg freezing?

We have come a long way in the last decade or so as far as the success of egg freezing is concerned, says Ms Goral Gandhi. She explains that when she started her career as an embryologist almost 25 years ago, egg freezing was considered an experimental procedure ans was offered only to cancer women undergoing chemotherapy. Today, results of egg freezing are very good. The chances of having a baby from these frozen eggs depends largely on the age of the woman when freezing the eggs. Younger eggs have higher chances of fertilizing and growing into healthy babies. Goral Gandhi who has   trained over 600 embryologists globally in this technique states that apart from the female age, a very important factor affecting success is the technique used and the embryologist performing it. Egg freezing is a highly specialised technique requiring special training and expert embryologists.

If you are thinking of freezing your eggs and have many questions in mind such as when to start, how much it will cost, how safe or successful it is and so on, we recommend you contact Dr. Goral Gandhi as soon as possible. Moreover, you can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel (Goral Gandhi) in order to know some basic details about this process.

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