SingaporeMotherhood | Parenting
Singapore to Legalise Elective Egg Freezing in 2023 – 5 Things You Need to Know
Have you heard? Starting next year, women from 21 to 35 years of age can undergo elective egg freezing in Singapore. Currently, women can only freeze their eggs for medical reasons, such as prior to undergoing chemotherapy. However, the new policy means that women can choose to give themselves a better chance of conceiving later in life. Wondering if elective egg freezing is for you? Read on to find out…
Update: The age limit of elective egg freezing (EEF) will be raised to 37, when it is implemented by 1 July 2023.
1. Fertility Falls with Age
Between chasing degrees and pursuing careers, it’s no wonder most young women aren’t ready for motherhood at their prime. Many young married couples also prefer to extend their honeymoon stage until they’re financially more secure before thinking about starting a family. Unfortunately, time and fertility wait for no (wo)man.
With elective egg freezing, women get the chance to mitigate the inevitable decline in their fertility. That’s because an egg you freeze when you are 25 remains 25 years young upon thawing, even if you age 10 years in between.
2. How Egg Freezing Works
The initial egg harvesting process is much the same, whether for immediate use or for cryopreservation. You’ll undergo hormone therapy to stimulate egg production and retrieval of the eggs takes place under general anaesthesia. After an assessment to select only eggs of good quality, they are submerged in liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees Celsius.
You may need more than one egg retrieval cycle to harvest and store enough healthy eggs. Egg quality decreases with age. Therefore, the older you are, the more egg retrieval cycles you are likely to need. You’ll also want to bank more eggs if you hope to have more than one child.
3. Egg Freezing Results in Births
When the time comes, the eggs are fertilised with your spouse’s sperm via in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). The process of fertilisation and subsequent implantation is the same as with fresh IVF treatments. What’s different is that the eggs were taken out of cryopreservation and warmed to 37 degrees Celsius first.
With the advancement of technology in the last decade, egg freezing and fresh IVF treatments have been equally successful. Eventually, it is the quality and quantity of eggs that determines the potential for your bundle of joy.
4. About Egg Freezing in Singapore
With each generation that passes, the tendency for women to put off childbearing increases. In tandem, the likelihood of conceiving naturally decreases by the time couples are ready to start a family. To counterbalance this trend, Singapore is legalising elective egg freezing for women in prime childbearing years.
The actual process and technology for egg freezing is not new to Singapore, as it has been available for patients whose fertility is at risk due to their medical conditions. What’s changing is that from 2023, all women aged 21 to 35 can choose egg freezing, even for social reasons.
5. Why Egg Freezing Matters to You
You are a young woman focusing on studies and career but hope to marry and become a mum one day. Or perhaps you are half of a young married couple still building that proverbial nest egg. Either way, you know your biological clock is ticking but you’re just not ready to raise a family quite yet.
Whatever your story, you can act now to boost the chances of fulfilling your parenting dream in the future.
Find out More about Elective Egg Freezing in Singapore via a Zoom Webinar
Got more burning questions about elective egg freezing in Singapore? Join us in an upcoming webinar, complete with a Q&A session, on this fertile topic:
“Understanding Egg Freezing and Fertility Treatment – Perspectives from Patient and Doctors”
She’s been there, done that – Hear from Gwendolyn Regina, a Singaporean woman who travelled overseas to freeze her eggs when she was 31. She’ll share the motivations behind her choice and her experiences throughout the process from a patient’s perspective.
Fertility specialists weigh in – Dr Yeong Cheng Toh (The Tow Yung Clinic) and Dr Tan Heng Hao (Alpha IVF Centre & Alpha Women’s Specialists) explain the ins and outs of elective egg freezing. They will provide greater insight into the technology, its relevance to IVF, overseas experience, and local policies.
Date Saturday, 19 November 2022
Time 2pm – 3.15pm
Venue Online via Zoom
To learn more about your fertility options and elective egg freezing in Singapore, click here to register for the webinar.
Featured image: Juli Lianna
All content from this article, including images, cannot be reproduced without credits or written permission from SingaporeMotherhood.