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Women delaying motherhood 'should freeze eggs'

According to a fertility specialist, women in their early 30s, who want to have children later, should be given a choice of freezing their eggs.//

As several women seem to have kids later, this step is required, says Dr Gillian Lockwood, of the British Fertility Society. “This can be because they have focused on a career, financial stability - or have only just found "Mr Right",” she said.

However, this proposal was considered as an “absurd” solution to social problems by the critics.

For the first time, more women in their 30s are getting pregnant than women in their 20s. This trend is going to continue and will lead to increase in stress among older women who want to conceive, according to Dr. Lockwood. She is going to talk about this to the British Society Meeting in Glasgow. The chances of miscarriage and having a baby with Down’s syndrome increases with the increase in the age of the woman. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has given license to more than 30 of the 84 clinics in the UK to freeze eggs. However, only 10 clinics do so and Dr Lockwood's Midland Fertility Services is one of them. Most of the patients opt to freeze their eggs to protect them against the effects of cancer treatment.

Dr Lockwood said, “Women should be aware that social egg freezing is now available. The technology costs £2,000 for harvesting the eggs and £100 a year for storage, plus IVF expenses when women want to conceive.” Among women using frozen eggs, there have been 3 pregnancies resulting in 4 babies. But, IVF is not guaranteed to work using frozen eggs.

Dr Lockwood said, “I don't want to encourage women who could have a family at the normal time to not do so because they think egg freezing will be an alternative, but not to know that this is available is unfortunate.”

"Women in their late 30s and early 40s look and feel younger, and they tend to feel they have the same reproductive lifespa n as a younger woman. It may seem very meddlesome to suggest women in their early 30s should freeze their eggs. In an ideal world, women would be able to combine a career, a home life and having children.But the reality is that it isn't an ideal world."

She added: "I'd much rather that a 42-year-old woman used healthy frozen eggs from her 30s, than she took a chance on her 'time expired' eggs from her 40s."

A spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said, “Women should be aware of all options, but having babies earlier remains the best.” But Josephine Quintavalle, of the group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: "We should stop finding these absurd solutions for society's problems. "I would dispute that we can't change society, and we shouldn't be coming up with these extreme ways of fixing problems in the future."


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