Singer and actress Rita Ora has revealed on TV that she had her eggs frozen in her early twenties on the advice of her doctor.
On a morning chat show in Australia, Ora, 27, opened up about delaying motherhood until she was ready later in life and expressed her wish to have a large family.
Her doctor told her: “You’re healthiest now and I think it would be great, why don’t you put them away now and you’ll never have to worry about it again?”
Ora’s decision is part of a growing lifestyle trend
Ora denied the move meant she was a hypochondriac and said she just “wanted to be really safe” and that she was a “big believer in using what we have and making the most of it”.
Egg freezing is gaining popularity among women who want to maximise their chances of having children, but want control over when they decide to embrace motherhood. At the moment, it’s still an expensive option and out of reach for most young women. Some companies are now offering to pay for the procedure to help retain their employees.
How much does it cost?
Egg freezing costs upwards of £3000 in the UK and is not usually available on the NHS unless you have had medical treatment that has affected your fertility. In the US, it can cost $10,000 to $15,000 to harvest and freeze one batch, then about $500 annually for storage. Because of the cost, many women delay freezing their eggs until their mid-30s, but doctors say it’s best to do years earlier as egg quality declines rapidly after 30.
Other celebrities who have opted for the procedure include Kim Kardashian, Sofia Vergara, Sarah Jessica Parker and Olivia Munn. Delaying motherhood is becoming the norm as women concentrate on their careers in their 20s and early 30s. In England and Wales, over half of all babies were born to women over 30 in 2015. There could be many reasons why women decide to freeze their eggs, including the lack of a suitable partner, a family history of early menopause or just not being ready.
Success isn’t guaranteed
Egg freezing is like an insurance policy, but success can’t be guaranteed. Much depends on the age of the patient when the eggs are frozen. The treatment is similar to IVF. Eggs are collected but instead of being mixed with sperm a special freezing solution is added to protect them. The eggs are cooled then stored in liquid nitrogen. They can then be thawed years later and the healthy ones are injected with sperm from a donor or partner. There can be some risks when eggs are collected, such as vaginal bleeding, although it is rare.
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