It Is Never Too Late With Egg Banking

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It Is Never Too Late With Egg Banking
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Contrary to general belief, egg freezing is not as simple as popping a pill. To begin with, it is a medically invasive process, and extraction costs amount about 1 lakh, with an additional storage cost of about 40,000.


 Sumera B. Reshi

In olden times, people used to hide treasures and precious belongings under the earth’s chest. It was considered the safest place without the fear of theft from anyone. With the passage of time, man advanced and he found feasible options to safeguard his belongings. Sometime later came the era of banking. Man was relieved of the worries pertaining to any losses. He saved his earnings in a bank, kept them for the rainy days and even got interest on the principal amount.

Gradually as man progressed, he initiated a battle with time. In this fast life, he wanted to conquer time and space, so he delayed certain aspects of life, however, to delay marriage was a matter of serious concern. People felt reluctant of suspending motherhood, which was an impossible dream and an incredible option.

Since the inception of the human civilization, man has tried to fight with nature to nurture his cherished dreams and among these dreams is to delay motherhood through egg banking. Doctors say egg banking is a viable option to delay motherhood, especially for urban women professionals.

Often careerists, especially women professionals, are too busy to consider starting a family right away after marriage but they fear of fertility problems later in life. Therefore, according to the doctors, eggs could be frozen and stored at the infertility centres. There are, however, certain pros and cons associated with egg banking.

One can freeze eggs and store them in an egg bank and once the couple decides of starting off their family, it can be done by the in-vitro fertilization procedure. The chances of pregnancy, however, depends on the quality of eggs at the time of banking.  Egg banking can be positive news for cancer patients as well whose eggs are otherwise destroyed by radiation therapy.

Contrary to general belief, egg freezing is not as simple as popping a pill. To begin with, it is a medically invasive process, and extraction costs amount about 1 lakh, with an additional storage cost of about 40,000.

However, sperm freezing has been around for several decades, egg freezing is a recent development in the field of medical science. According to the author of Sex Cells, Rene Almeling, the medical market for eggs and sperms (2011), human sperm banks were established in Los Angeles in the 1950s. She further explained that the demand for frozen sperm increased after the AIDS crisis in the mid 1980’s, when physicians were encouraged by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) to begin using frozen sperms. However, eggs have higher water content than sperm so it took much longer to find out how to freeze and thaw eggs successfully.

But the question is, how far is our society ready to accept such medical innovations? In the US, the procedure is being promoted aggressively by egg banks who conduct egg freezing themed cocktail parties. Nevertheless, in India, egg banking is restricted to a minority and fewer women opt for it. Most of the women who select egg banking are urban professionals in their mid or in late 30’s.

Today a growing number of women in the US and other developed countries are waiting longer to start a family than their mothers did. Even today, majority of American women become mothers under the age of 35, however, the birth rate for women over 35 are on the rise over the past 20 years.

Furthermore, older parenthood is also on the rise for men. More and more American men over 30 are becoming fathers. Social scientists believe that a number of social changes seem to drive those trends other than being a careerist. A reliable birth control means that for people who wish to delay parenthood, egg banking is a viable option. 

 

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