Actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas recently opened up about freezing her eggs in her 30s and how the decision gave her a lot “freedom”. During a conversation with US actor-filmmaker Dax Shepard on his podcast Armchair Expert, the 40-year-old also said that when she froze her eggs, she had not met the person who she wanted to have children with.
"The biological clock is real. It gets so much harder to get pregnant after 35 and to carry on to term and all of that. Especially with women that have been working all our lives,” she said and so then at 36, on the advice of her obstetrician-gynaecologist mother Madhu, she froze her eggs.
She is now married to singer-actor Nick Jonas and has a daughter Malti Marie Chopra Jonas born through surrogacy.
Many other celebrities have also opened up about motherhood in non-traditional ways, freezing of eggs being a common one.
What is egg freezing?
Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, is a process in which a woman's eggs are extracted from her ovaries and frozen for later use. The eggs are preserved at very low temperatures, typically -196°C, using a process called vitrification. This process allows the eggs to be stored for an extended period, often several years, until they are ready to be thawed and used for fertility treatments.
Why do women opt for it?
Women may opt for egg freezing for various reasons. One of the most common reasons is to preserve their fertility. Women may choose to freeze their eggs if they are not ready to start a family yet, but want to ensure that they have the option to do so in the future. This is particularly common among women who are pursuing advanced education, career advancement or those who haven't found the right partner.
Another reason why women may choose egg freezing is due to medical conditions that affect fertility. Women undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy may opt for egg freezing to protect their eggs from the potential damage caused by these treatments. Similarly, women with conditions that affect their ovarian function or those who need to undergo surgery that will impact their reproductive system may consider egg freezing.
The benefits of egg freezing
One of the primary benefits of egg freezing is that it allows women to preserve their fertility and have the option of conceiving in the future. This can be especially important for women who are diagnosed with cancer or other medical conditions that require treatments that can affect fertility. Egg freezing also gives women more control over their reproductive health and allows them to make informed decisions about when they want to start a family.
Potential side effects
Like any medical procedure, egg freezing does have some potential side effects. One of the most common side effects is discomfort or pain during the egg retrieval process, which involves the use of a needle to remove eggs from the ovaries. Some women may also experience bloating, cramping, or mood swings after the procedure.
In addition to these potential side effects, egg freezing is also an expensive procedure. The cost of egg freezing can vary significantly depending on where you live and the clinic you choose. In some cases, the cost of egg freezing can be prohibitive, making it inaccessible to many women.