An option to have children in future

Women are getting their eggs frozen as an option to have children in future without rushing into marriage.
Women are getting their eggs frozen as an option to have children in future without rushing into marriage. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Bank executive Jenny, 39, would like very much to have children.

But she will not rush into marrying her boyfriend - despite her biological clock ticking away - just for the sake of marriage and children. Jenny (not her real name) said: "We are not ready to take the next step yet."

Earlier this year, two months before her 39th birthday, she flew to a fertility centre in Melbourne, Australia, to get her eggs frozen.

"It's buying the option to have children in the future," she said. "I would rather freeze my eggs first and make sure it is the right person before I marry."

Egg freezing had been on her mind for a couple of years. But she had put it off as the procedure may not be undertaken here for non-medical reasons, she says.

However, she decided to act this year as she knows her fertility will be on a sharp decline now she has reached her late 30s.

 
 

It is a big decision - and a costly one too. She paid about $15,000 for the procedure.

That aside, she had to give herself hormonal injections, up to three times a day for 10 days, to stimulate the production of more eggs.

Following that, said Dr Manuela Toledo, a fertility specialist at Melbourne IVF where Jenny went to, the eggs were collected from her ovaries using an ultrasound-guided probe.

In the laboratory, the eggs were frozen through an ultra-fast process called vitrification.

In Australia, Jenny's eggs can be stored for up to 10 years.

Jenny says her family and boyfriend were supportive of her decision and her mother accompanied her to Melbourne for the procedure.

But whether she will use her frozen eggs remains to be seen, as she will not have children if she does not get married, she says.

"I'm more afraid of marrying the wrong person than not having kids," she said.

Theresa Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 18, 2016, with the headline 'An option to have children in future'. Print Edition | Subscribe