Category

Health & Wellbeing

Category

By: Shaelynn-Miller

 

It’s hard to know what to say or do when someone you love experiences a miscarriage – it’s a touchy subject people don’t like to bring up. But amongst the awkward tension of not knowing how to react, there are things left unsaid that shouldn’t be.

Here are seven things about miscarriage no one talks about (but should):

  1. It’s a lot more common than you think

Between 10 and 25 percent of recognized pregnancies, end in miscarriage. In fact, most healthy women have a 20 percent chance of miscarrying.

  1. Just because it’s common doesn’t make it any easier to handle

From the time a woman sees those two pink lines on a pregnancy test, she begins to dream of the little bundle of joy growing inside her and what life will be like once the child arrives. Having that stripped away so suddenly is devastating.

  1. Many women experience depression following a miscarriage

It doesn’t matter if you were two or 20 weeks along – the pain is still there. The bond between a mother and unborn child is strong, and losing that can bring emotions of anger, guilt, sadness, and depression. If you know someone who has slipped into depression following a miscarriage, reach out to them and encourage them to seek counselling if necessary.

  1. Men grieve too

Men don’t experience the same kind of grief as women, but they still grieve when their partner miscarries. Irving Leon, a psychologist who specializes in the reproductive loss, says some men worry that if they show sadness, it will only bring their wife down more.

Men typically don’t mourn on the outside, but they still battle their emotions on the inside. One study said men show less “active grief” on the outside compared to females, but they are more vulnerable to feeling despair and struggling to cope with the loss.

  1. It’s not the mother’s fault

Some women feel betrayed by their body following a miscarriage and wonder what more they could have done to prevent it. They ask what would have happened if they went to the doctor earlier or watched their diet a little closer. But there are so many causes for miscarriage, and they typically can’t be identified.

The most common reason for miscarriage in the first trimester is a chromosomal abnormality. In these cases, it isn’t the mother’s fault, and recognizing that is a great first step to overcoming the overbearing grief.

  1. You’ll likely have a healthy pregnancy after a miscarriage

You might be worried to try for another child after experiencing a miscarriage, but experts say about 85 percent of women who have suffered a miscarriage will go on to have a healthy, full-term pregnancy next time. They say it’s safe to wait for at least two to three menstrual cycles and until you and your partner are emotionally ready to start trying again. Go at your own pace, and talk to your doctor about when it’s healthy to become pregnant again.

  1. You can receive help

Don’t be afraid to speak out. Seek help from trusted family members, friends, experts and online sources. You can also read other people’s personal experiences with pregnancy loss and share yours.

To all the mothers and fathers out there who carry the heavy weight of losing a child, remember you are not alone. You can receive help from experts and loved ones. And although you will never forget your sweet unborn child, your pain can start to fade.

 

Source: familyshare.com          

The World Health Organization listed cell phones as one of the possible causes of brain cancer because of its high emission of radiation. This has raised much concern as cell phones have become very important to our daily activities.

One of the sure ways to avoid the potential risk of cancer caused by cell phones is to reduce exposure to radiation. This can be done by employing the following steps:

  1. Get a low-radiation phone: Low radiation phones are safer to use because they emit less radiation. When buying a phone, EMF-Health.comrecommends that you consider the phone’s SAR (specific absorption rate), a way of measuring the radiation absorbed by the body. It’s usually listed in the phone’s instruction manual.
  2. Keep the phone away from your ear when you can: Wait for your calls to connect before bringing the phone to your ear, that way you reduce the amount of radiation absorbed by your body. And when you talk, tilt the phone away from your ear and bring it in close when you’re listening. Radiation levels are less when a cell phone is receiving signals compared to when it is transmitting.
  1. Use a headset: Radiation produced by headsets is less than that produced by cell phones. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) advises that cell phones be kept away from your head. The farther away you are from a source of radiation, the less damage it can do.
  2. Avoid making calls with poor connection: Do not continue a call if you are struggling to maintain a connection or if you are in an area where the network is poor. Instead, end the call and wait till you are able to secure a better connection because the fewer the signal bars the harder your phone has to work to connect thereby releasing more radiation.
  3. Text more often: While texting your cell phone emits less radiation because it uses less energy compared to calls says the EWG. Texting also keeps the radiation source farther away from your brain.
  4. Make sure your kids use the landline: Kids are the most vulnerable to potential radiation dangers. Children’s brains absorb twice as much cell phone radiation as adults. Instead of allowing your kid use cell phones which have become very common, protect them from the dangers of cell phone radiation by making them use the landline.

By: Dr. Firuza R.Parikh & Ms. Maherra Khambaty

In today’s world, man-made chemicals have become a part of our daily lives. Exposure to environmental chemicals and metals – in the air, water, soil, food, and consumer products is omnipresent. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2003-2004 stated that virtually every pregnant woman in the United States is exposed to at least 43 different chemicals. Scientific evidence suggests that numerous chemicals, both natural and man-made, interfere with the endocrine or hormonal system which adversely impacts on human health and reproduction. These chemicals are often referred to as Endocrine Disruptors or EDs. They are present in toys, plastic bottles, food packaging, pesticides, detergents, and fragrances. They are in the food we eat, and the air we breathe. Some EDs persist in the environment for decades without being broken down and they bio-accumulate through the food chain.

So why are Endocrine Disrupters such a problem? EDs did not exist before the 1930s. During the period between 1970 and the 1990s, the first human generation ever exposed to these chemicals during fetal life began reaching their own reproductive age, and subtle disruptions began to appear. EDs impacted a broad range of health issues, including, increase in breast, ovarian and prostate cancers; increase in immune and neurodegenerative diseases; increase in obesity and diabetes, and female and male reproductive health issues including fertility issues. They interfere with reproduction, development, and other hormonally mediated processes. Some EDs such as Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) are called Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) since they do not break down easily and remain in the environment for decades.

The common EDs are Bisphenol A (BPA) found in plastics, Phthalates in plasticizers, pesticides such as DDT as well as environmental and industrial pollutants. There is an alarming trend in reproductive health witnessed worldwide – a significant increase in reproductive disorders, decline in sperm counts and decline in female ovarian reserve. The Endocrine Society’s Second Scientific Statement in 2015 provides conclusive evidence regarding how EDs interfere with hormones and how that affects human reproduction.

BPA is an endocrine‐disrupting chemical formed in plastic bottles, protective eyewear, electronic equipment and food storage containers. Humans are exposed to BPA when the chemical leaches from these products, via ingestion, inhalation or dermal absorption. When we consume BPA, it enters the body in an active form that can weakly bind to estrogen receptors and mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.

Phthalates are used in some cosmetics and personal care products such as deodorants, hair spray, shampoos, soaps, skin creams, body lotions, lipstick, nail polish, makeup products and hair dyes to fix the scent and make it longer lasting. Phthalates are produced globally in high volumes and are found in higher levels in women compared to men. High molecular weight phthalate is primarily used as a plasticizer in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics to make them soft, flexible and durable. They are found in food plastic wraps, plastic toys, medical tubing, pharmaceutical coatings, vinyl flooring, adhesives, detergents, lubricating oils, and automotive plastics. They have lost chemical bonds in plastic products and hence can easily leach out into humans who are exposed to air, water, food.

DDT is currently banned in many countries. However, it is still is found in meat, fish, and dairy products. DDT is classified as a Persistent Organic Pollutant (POP) and can remain in the environment for up to 30 years. It accumulates in fatty tissues resulting in bioaccumulation and it undergoes bio-magnification as it moves higher up in the food chain.

The human endocrine system is one of our main communication networks. It is responsible for controlling and coordinating numerous body functions. It is composed of glands that release hormones and orchestrate processes such as growth, metabolism, sexual maturation & reproduction. The perfect balance in the endocrine system is extremely important in women because the menstrual cycle and fertility are very sensitive to hormonal imbalances. EDs can alter the delicate androgen-estrogen balance required for proper reproductive function by mimicking the hormone and thereby blocking the hormones. Thus, they disrupt the enzymatic pathways involved in hormone synthesis and metabolism, thereby disrupting reproductive hormones and function.

EDs have a significant impact on the female reproductive function. BPA and Phthalates are ovarian toxicants, with the ability to disrupt normal ovarian functioning and cause Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) through impaired oocyte maturation and lack of ovulation (anovulation). EDs alter ovarian steroidogenesis resulting in inadequate levels of necessary progesterone and estradiol to support the pregnancy. Women exposed to higher levels of BPA & Phthalates are at an increased risk of miscarriages. Women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) risk low or failed fertilization, reduced or poor-quality oocytes and embryos, and implantation failure.

The reproductive system is regulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) Axis, to promote ovulation, follicular maturation and the synthesis of ovarian estrogens. EDs can disrupt this axis resulting in hormonal imbalances of estrogen and progesterone. These may affect the menstrual cycle, ovulation, and pregnancy.

Reproductive developmental periods, especially prenatal and early postnatal life and puberty, are vulnerable periods for high sensitivity to EDs exposures. The effects of EDs are transgenerational i.e. it can go through several generations.

A number of human studies provide evidence for BPA and Phthalate induced female infertility. The Environment and Reproductive Health (EARTH) Study, The Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) Study, and, The Study of Metals and Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SMART) Study are some such studies. However, it is often difficult to replicate results in an epidemiological study as a number of factors come into play, including, the fact that humans are exposed to numerous EDs, sometimes making it difficult to identify specific effects of an ED. The impact of any ED on sexual development and reproduction potency depends on the time of exposure (e.g., in utero, newborn babies, adolescents, adults, menopausal women).

It is only over the last few years that scientists have understood the negative impact of EDs on the female reproductive system. It will be the combined effort of scientists, and Governments to limit the use of EDs so that our future generations are not affected. We should use the Precautionary Principle – an evolution of the ancient medical principle of “first do no harm” – to ban or restrict BPA usage to reduce exposure and resulting long – last adverse health effects.

 

Dr. Firuza R.Parikh is the Director, Department of Assisted Reproduction & Genetics, Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, Mumbai, India, and Ms. Maherra Khambaty works at the Department of Medical Research, Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, Mumbai, India.

 

 

 

By: Dr. Abayomi Ajayi

A woman has a so called fertile window or period when she is only able to naturally conceive in her month long menstrual cycle. This is how it works in humans.

Every month a woman’s menstrual cycle begins with bleeding which is generally referred to as menses. It is the shedding of the thickened lining of the womb. This thickening had occurred in the previous menstrual cycle under the influence of hormones or chemical substances from the brain and ovaries to prepare to receive a pregnancy. In fact, some refer to menses as the tears of a disappointed womb. Despite this disappointment, the womb picks itself up again and starts to prepare in the hope that this time a pregnancy will occur.

This preparation commences with the bleeding and another rise in production of these chemical substances (hormones) from the brain and ovaries. At the same time, the womb is preparing, the same chemicals also act on the ovaries to make them begin to mobilize eggs. The ovaries are the factories that produce eggs in women. The ovaries are equipped with all the eggs a woman will need in her life time from birth. At birth a girl child has about 2 million eggs and by the time she attains menarche (starts her menstruation) she has about 400,000 eggs because the eggs continue to diminish as she ages unlike in the men where the counterparts of the ovaries called testes (the factories for sperms) keep on producing new sperms on demand. This is why it is said that a woman has a biological or physiological clock which continues to tick and why she needs to make hay while the sun shines as her egg quality and number diminishes over time and hence her fertility depreciates with age. A woman needs only about 400 eggs in her reproductive life time. A woman’s fertility begins to diminish significantly after the age of 35.

The ovaries mobilize a certain number of eggs every month (say 20 but under the influence of the hormones mentioned above only one mature egg (or occasionally two) makes the journey and is released from the ovary during a process called ovulation. The egg is picked up by the fallopian tube and if intercourse is had at around this time of ovulation (fertile period) there is a good chance that a sperm will meet with the released egg in the fallopian tube and fertilization (which is the union of sperm and egg) will occur. This is necessary for pregnancy to occur. It is important to note that this fertile window may vary from one woman to another.

Day 1 of a woman’s cycle is the day she starts her menses (bleeding) and the last day of her cycle is the day before the next bleeding or menses starts. Not all women have the standard 28 day cycle. 21-35 day cycles are also normal. Ovulation generally occurs about 2 weeks before the next period so around day 14 for a woman who has a 28 day cycle, day 7 for a woman with a 21 day cycle and day 21 for one with a 35 day cycle.

The fertile window is generally believed to be 5 days to the day of ovulation and also including the day of ovulation (about 6 days). The best of these days is the 3 days leading up to and including the day of ovulation, so for a woman with a 28 day cycle, days 12, 13 and 14 are the most fertile while for a woman with a 21 day cycle day 5, 6 and 7 are the best days.

Sperms can survive in the female genital tract for up to 5 days but eggs survive only 12-24 hours. In fact, eggs are best fertilizable within 12 hours of release (ovulation).

How can a woman know her fertile period or when she is ovulating and therefore maximize her chances of conceiving?

There are a few ways:

  1. Using the Basal Body Temperature (BBT): There is usually a slight 0.5⁰ C rise in the woman’s temperature just after she ovulates (releases the egg). So if you can check your temperature consistently and correctly with a special BBT thermometer (for accuracy) before you get out of bed every morning then you just might be able to know when you ovulate.
  2. Assessing the cervical mucous: There is usually a change in the cervical mucous around the time of ovulation. This is a normal discharge that comes through the vagina. If you are observant enough you may notice that it becomes clear, slick and slippery and of the consistency of egg white. It is believed to indicate that ovulation is taking place and is considered as one of the best signs of ovulation. It calls for intercourse with your partner at this time if you are trying to get pregnant.
  3. Using the ovulation predictor kits: There are kits which employ special strips in which you can test for a special hormone in your urine and when it is positive it indicates you are going to ovulate in the next 24-36 hours. When do you start testing? Subtract 17 days from your cycle length and start testing on that day for example if you have a 28 day cycle start testing from day 11.
  4. Using ovulation calculators: There are calculators online that can be used to calculate ovulation days and fertile period (visit:nordicalagos.org/ovulation-predictor/). This works best in women with regular cycles.

Women who are trying to conceive and cannot determine their fertile period/window or day of ovulation are advised to have intercourse every 2-3 days or 2-3 times a week equally spaced out to maximize their chances.

 

Dr. Abayomi Ajayi is the MD/CEO of Nordica Fertility Centre Ikoyi, Lagos

Aging wrinkles can be so disturbing, you look in the mirror and see the first signs of fine lines and wrinkles. They’re around your eyes, your mouth, your forehead—and they’re starting to set in. Most times you try to ignore these changes—but all of a sudden, they become more pronounced.

According to Paula’s choice skincare, the sun can be a great influencer of wrinkles. Your skin color can make you more vulnerable to serious sun damage when you aren’t wearing sunscreen. However, regardless of your skin color, unprotected sun exposure is still putting your skin at risk. Depending on how much unprotected sun exposure you’ve had, fine lines and wrinkles can start showing up as early as your mid-twenties!

A sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater applied on a daily basis is one sure way to reduce the risk of early signs of aging.

The Harvard medical school has proven that Topical vitamin A–based drugs called retinoids — the most used and most studied anti-aging compounds — may reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Tretinoin, under the brand name Retin-A, was the first retinoid. It was used as an acne treatment in the 1970s, but researchers later discovered that it also fades actinic keratosis spots, evens pigmentation, and speeds the turnover of superficial skin cells.

Retinoids reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. They also stimulate the production of new blood vessels in the skin, which improves skin color. Additional benefits include fading age spots and softening rough patches of skin. However, it takes three to six months of regular use before improvements in wrinkles are apparent — and the best results take six to 12 months.

This is because, retinoids can cause skin dryness and irritation, doctors often recommend using them only every other day at first and then gradually working up to nightly applications. Wear a sunscreen during the day, because retinoids increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. These drugs must be used continually to maintain their benefits.

Tretinoin (Retin-A, generic), tazarotene (Avage, Tazorac), and adapalene (Differin) are prescription retinoids. Adapalene is also available over the counter (in a 0.1% formulation versus the 0.3% prescription version). Other retinoids are undergoing clinical trials.

In addition, several over-the-counter products containing retinoids, such as retinol, are available. Because they’re not as strong (and thus less irritating), they are not as effective in reducing wrinkles as tretinoin; but they do improve the appearance of photo-aged skin. Tretinoin can be used with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) for additional skin-smoothing effects.

There are various ways, that wrinkles can be minimized or permanently eliminated such as;

  • A gentle water-soluble cleanser
  • An alcohol-free, skin replenishing toner
  • A leave-on, completely non-abrasive AHA or BHA exfoliant that exfoliates skin naturally and imperceptibly.
  • A daytime moisturizer or foundation with an SPF 30 or greater
  • A concentrated antioxidant-enriched serum
  • Nighttime moisturizer loaded with skin-restoring hydrating ingredients appropriate for your skin type
  • Specialty products that contain ingredients proven to address specific signs of aging. These include high concentrations of vitamin C-, retinol-, hyaluronic acid-, and niacinamide-based formulas.

Carefully chosen skin care products that include lots of antioxidants, replenishing ingredients and skin-restoring ingredients can put back into skin’s surface what it has lost over time. These types of ingredients in a complete advanced skin care routine can truly rejuvenate and revitalize your skin, making wrinkles much less of a visible concern. This is the best way to love your skin and resist the effects of time!

 

 

Sources: Health Beat from the Harvard Medical School/Paula’s Choice Skincare

Menopause which is also known as climacteric is a normal health condition that all women experience when they get to a certain age, although the ages differ.

The term “menopause” can describe any of the changes a woman goes through either just before or after she stops menstruating, marking the end of her reproductive period. At this time, menstrual flow stops completely and the woman is unable to bear children.

Menopause typically occurs between 49 and 52 years of age.

What Causes Menopause?

Every woman is born with a finite number of eggs, which are stored in the ovaries. The ovaries also produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which is responsible for the monthly menstruation and ovulation. Menopause happens when the ovaries stop releasing eggs monthly in form of blood (menstruation).

Menopause is said to be normal when it occurs after the age of 40 but abnormal when it happens before age 40. Early menopause can occur either as a result of surgery, such as hysterectomy, or damage to the ovaries due to chemotherapy. Menopause that happens before 40, regardless of the cause, is called premature menopause.

How Does Natural Menopause Happen?

Natural menopause is not caused by any type of medical or surgical procedure. It happens naturally and gradually in 3 stages. These stages are:

  • Perimenopause Stage:  This stage happens several years before menopause. At this stage, the ovaries produce less estrogen. Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last 1 to 2 years of perimenopause, the drop in estrogen quickens. At this stage, many women have menopause symptoms.
  • Menopause Stage: This is the stage a woman has stopped seeing her menstrual cycle; the ovary has stopped releasing eggs and making most of their estrogen.
  • Postmenopause Stage:  this stage begins after menopause. During this stage, menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes occur. A Hot flash is a feeling of intense warmth that spreads over the upper body, often with blushing and some sweating- ease for most women. But health risks related to the loss of estrogen rise as the woman ages.

Causes of Premature Menopause

Premature menopause can be genetic, caused by autoimmune disorders, or medical procedures. Other conditions that may cause early menopause include:

  • Premature ovarian failure: Normally, the ovaries make both estrogen and progesterone. Changes in the levels of these two hormones happen when the ovaries, for unknown reasons, prematurely stop releasing eggs. When this happens before the age of 40, it’s called premature ovarian failure. Unlike premature menopause, premature ovarian failure is not always permanent.
  • Induced menopause:  “Induced” menopause happens when the ovaries are surgically removed for medical reasons, such as uterine cancer or endometriosis. Induced menopause can also result from damage to the ovaries caused by radiation or chemotherapy.

Symptoms

Most women experience hot flashes varying from mild to severe when approaching menopause.

Other common symptoms of menopause include:

  • Irregular or skipped periods
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Racing heart
  • Headaches
  • Joint and muscle aches and pains
  • Changes in libido (sex drive)
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Bladder control problems

Not all women get all of these symptoms

Menopause Diagnosis

You can either suspect that you are about to approach menopause or go to your doctor for an examination. It also helps if you keep track of your periods and chart them as they become irregular. Your menstrual pattern will be an added clue to your doctor about whether you’re premenopausal.

What Long-Term Health Problems Are Tied to Menopause?

The loss of estrogen linked with menopause has been tied to a number of health problems that become more common as women age.

After menopause, women are more likely to have:

  • Osteoporosis (bone disease)
  • Heart disease
  • A poorly working bladder and bowel
  • Greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease(memory loss)
  • Poor skin elasticity (increased wrinkling)
  • Poor muscle power and tone
  • Some weakening in vision, such as from cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye) and macular degeneration (breakdown of the tiny spot in the center of the retina that is the center of vision)

A number of treatments can help lower risks that are linked with these conditions.

By: Eruke Ojuederie

In developing nations, fertility among women has been perceived as one of the greatest gifts a husband can have. It has served as the basis for a healthy marriage on the one hand and broken marriages on the other. Whatever be the case, psychology experts have stated that once a woman starts aging she focuses more on family and loved ones which include children. Dr. Jordan B Peterson a Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto in one of his speeches pointed that when a woman clocks 30 she begins to feel the urgent need to have a child. Psychology, societal, and cultural beliefs all tilt towards the significance of fertility in women, however, in recent times, there has been a turn around with the inception of new medical discoveries.

 

How it all began

 

Freezing of eggs was introduced with the first cryopreservation of sperm in 1953 and of embryos thirty years later. Dr. Christopher Chen of Singapore reported the world’s first pregnancy in 1986 using previously frozen oocytes. This report stood alone for several years followed by studies reporting success rates using frozen eggs to be much lower than those of traditional in vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques using fresh oocytes. This discovery led to another by Dr. Lilia Kuleshova who was the first scientist to achieve vitrification of human oocytes that resulted in a live birth in 1999.

 

Elective oocyte cryopreservation, also known as social egg freezing, is the term used to describe non-essential egg freezing for the purpose of preserving fertility for delayed child-bearing when natural conception becomes more problematic. The frequency of this procedure has steadily increased since October 2012 when the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), one of the World’s leading fertility organizations, lifted the ‘experimental’ label from the process. This sparked in 2014 when global corporations Apple and Facebook revealed they were introducing egg freezing as a benefit for their female employees. This announcement was controversial as some women found it empowering and practical, while others viewed the message these companies were sending to women trying to have a successful long-term career and a family as harmful and alienating. In 2016, then US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that the Department of Defense will cover the cost of freezing sperm or eggs through a pilot program for active duty service members, with the intention of preserving their ability to start a family even if they suffer certain combat injuries.

 

How does it work?

 

According to the UCLA Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, egg freezing, or oocyte cryopreservation, is a process in which a woman’s eggs (oocytes) are extracted, frozen and stored as a method to preserve reproductive potential in women of reproductive age. In this case, a patient who wishes to retrieve eggs for freezing will undergo the same hormone-injection process as in-vitro fertilization (IVF). The only difference is that following egg retrieval, they are frozen for a period of time before they are thawed, fertilized and transferred to the uterus as embryos.

 

Why do women freeze their eggs?

 

Recently more than ever before, a large number of women are not only willing to try our new health plans but are also open to a whole new world of possibilities with a fast-paced digitalized society.

 

Several newspapers sought to learn why exactly women freeze their eggs and most have deduced that the number one reason why women freeze their eggs is age. Some other have tried to explain how hard it is for an educated and sophisticated woman to get a man to marry her at a good enough age hence the need to freeze eggs. Others have observed that women are now liberal enough to decide what they would like to do with their lives at specific points in time. In Brain Wang’s article titled “College educated women unwilling to settle are freezing their eggs”, it was revealed that UK researchers interviewed 150 women who had frozen eggs, of whom 90% said they could not find a suitable partner. Author Prof Marcia Inhorn said the research challenged perceptions that women put off having a baby so they could prioritize their job. Given all these assertions, a more popular opinion will be that since human beings are dynamic, every woman has her unique reason for freezing her eggs.

 

There is no doubting the fact that age can reduce the chance of a woman getting pregnant and having a healthy baby. A woman’s age is the single most important factor affecting her fertility.

EggBanxx in outlining some of the reasons why women freeze their eggs came up with this interesting list:

 

  • Women who freeze their eggs are looking to maximize their chance of having a healthy baby when they are ready.
  • For other women, social reasons like focusing on school or a career might be a factor as she does not have the time to meet or find the right life partner.
  • Some forms of early menopause, such as premature ovarian failure, has the potential for a woman to have significantly fewer healthy eggs than other women of the same age group. Certain severities of endometriosis require surgery to remove all or part of a woman’s reproductive organs, possibly reducing the likelihood of conceiving naturally or traditionally.
  • Cancer and other radiation or high-drug treatments can also cause concern for a woman’s reproductive health. Freezing eggs before these procedures can ensure the possibility of having a biological child, even if you require a gestational surrogate.

 

It has been argued that if a woman chooses to focus on academics or career rather than have children at a particular time, it should not be equated to the ability to find a suitable mate. It should be seen as a choice and so should the decision to freeze eggs. However, it is interesting to realize that the quest to achieve gender equality the world over now seems to influence personal decisions and change already outlined goals. In the world we live today every individual has been given the power to change the cause of things and “break glass ceilings”.

 

The Anticipated Danger

 

Despite these seemingly open-ended choices, women who decide to engage in this practice have been warned about the dangers of what may be a costly decision. Prof Adam Balen, president of the British Fertility Society said: “the technology in egg freezing has improved a great deal but it is still no guarantee of a baby later in life.”

 

Experts have foreseen a society with new gender norms and family formations where single motherhood by choice is the order of the day. Although women have not admitted to this fact, egg freezing is clearly a useful outlet for women – a comfort point.  

 

The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) estimates that by 2018, 76,000 women will freeze their eggs – more than 15 times the rate in 2013.

 

Whether or not this new found interest in egg freezing spells a family revolution, there is a need to critically weigh the options and evaluate the impacts this process will have on our world in the coming years.