Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, is an assisted reproduction technology (ART) technique that freezes and stores a woman’s unfertilised eggs for conception at a later stage of her life.
Owing to various reasons and personal pursuits, more and more people are delaying child-bearing. Egg freezing offers hope to still have healthy eggs for reproduction by the time they are ready.
With the introduction of the Assisted Reproduction Services Regulations under the Healthcare Services Act, women aged between 21 and 35 can undergo elective egg freezing—also known as social egg freezing, which is done for non medical reasons next year in 2023. However, only legally married couples can use their frozen eggs to try for a baby through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).
Currently, women can freeze their eggs in Singapore for future use if there is a medical reason involving a permanent impact on their fertility, such as having to undergo:
Egg-freezing provides them option to preserve their eggs before they are damaged or depleted, allowing them the chance to still have babies post-recovery.
Similar to the initial stages of an IVF cycle, a woman has to undergo daily injections of hormones to stimulate the growth of eggs until they reach a mature stage for retrieval.
The retrieved eggs are then frozen and stored. They can be thawed when the woman is ready to try for a baby.
Like egg freezing for women, sperm freezing is an option for men who needs to preserve their fertility due to medical reasons. Semen containing sperm will be collected and frozen before they start on their chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgical treatment.
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