Home Lifestyle Jennifer Aniston centres conversation around fertility preservation

Jennifer Aniston centres conversation around fertility preservation

Jennifer Aniston centres conversation around fertility preservation

Recent media attention has contributed to the increasing public awareness of egg freezing.

Fertility preservation is an essential precaution for having healthy, genetically related children later in life. Because life doesn’t always work out the way we planned.

There are several factors that affect this choice differently for various people. For example, to some, this decision was heavily influenced by medical reasons such as undergoing cancer treatment for others they’re purposely waiting to have kids when they’re older or are currently on a set career path.

UCLA Health: Fertility & Reproductive Health explains Egg Freezing as 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.

Similar to freezing eggs, freezing embryos includes removing the eggs from the ovaries. When your physician fertilises the eggs with your partner’s or donated sperm, embryos are created. This procedure is called in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Your doctor may decide to immediately implant the embryos into you, or they may decide to freeze them and store them for future purposes.

Everyone's conception of family life is unique, as we are aware from hearing celebrities discuss their own fertility struggles.

Celebrities like Gabrielle Union-Wade, who shared in her memoir “We're going to need more wine” that she suffered at least nine miscarriages and underwent various fertility treatments in order to conceive and ultimately chose the surrogacy route.

Jennifer Aniston recently spoke out about fertility preservation and revealed that she had undergone IVF when she was married to Brad Pitt and couldn’t conceive.

The “Friends” star told Allure magazine in an interview that she would’ve given anything if someone had told her to just freeze her eggs.

"I was going through IVF, drinking Chinese tea, you name it, I was throwing everything at it.”

Jennifer Aniston centres conversation around fertility preservation
Actress Jennifer Aniston arrives at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards in 2015. Picture: Reuters

Naturally, this caused the topic of fertility preservation to dominate the discussion. A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that millennials have already made up their minds not to have children.

According to fertility experts, going through a reproductive journey can be incredibly isolating. Even though celebrities do a great job of dispelling stigma and doing so considering, each person’s journey is different.

In layman’s terms, fertility preservation is saving your fertility for later.

Fertility preservation originally started out of medical necessity specifically for cancer patients. It’s very important that people know that IVF is an opportunity and not a guaranteed success even though it has some amount of success, it is at best 60 to 65% successful.

Until 2012, egg freezing was still considered experimental. People now have the choice of maintaining their fertility for a variety of reasons specific to them, such as age, with eggs or embryos, because of medical issues like endometriosis, or due to genetic factors.

A study published by the National Library of Medicine national center for biotechnology information on The Importance of Fertility Preservation Counseling in Patients with Gynecologic Cancer clearly states that when cancer affects women of childbearing age, treatments can jeopardise reproductive capacity.

This further cements the novelty of this proactive measure, which allows women the freedom and flexibility to decide how and when to have children.

According to the American Cancer Society, because chemotherapy is designed with the purpose of killing fast-dividing cells, ovarian cells producing hormones like oestrogen frequently experience chemo side-effects due to their tendency for rapid division.

This may result in the loss of those vital hormones and have an impact on fertility. A woman may occasionally experience early or premature menopause as a result.

Furthermore, in order to prevent your cancer from returning indefinitely, you may occasionally be put on hormonal control, which could be counter-productive for someone trying to beat their biological clock.

Having a family is not impossible, but when you have medical conditions, it can prove extremely difficult. As a result, experts concur that it’s a smart decision to go through this process early which is easier both emotionally, physically and financially.

It is well known that fertility decreases with age as the quality of the ovary and eggs deteriorates. Ideally, you should freeze your eggs before you reach 38 years of age in order to increase your chances of conceiving successfully later on.

Pros and cons to both:

The dangers of IVF will apply to women who try to get pregnant using their frozen-thawed eggs. These dangers include multiple pregnancies, high blood pressure associated with pregnancy, premature birth, C-section delivery, and low birth-weight babies.

In comparison to an egg, an embryo (ready for implant) has 300 cells, which makes it more likely to survive than an egg.

And it is widely expensive. Most women keep their eggs in storage for five to 10 years. However, eggs that were frozen for well over 10 years have given birth to healthy children. As a result, many women have the choice to store their frozen eggs for a long time.

Read the latest issue of IOL Health digital magazine here.

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