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A ticking biological clock is a primary reason women choose to freeze their eggs. A woman’s fertility peaks during her 20s and starts to decline once she reaches 30. In fact, by the time a healthy woman reaches age 30, her chances of conceiving start to see a decline coupled with other fertility-related issues as well.
In the current scenario, more women are postponing family planning until their 30s and early-40s due to several personal and professional commitments. One of the options that can be considered is fertility preservation through egg freezing that allows women to extend their childbearing years by preserving their younger, healthier eggs, says Dr.Ramya Gowda, consultant — reproductive medicine, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Bengaluru.
She tells IANSlife: “While it is not surprising that egg freezing has gained a lot of attention amongst women of different age groups but unfortunately often it has also created many misconceptions.”
Dr. Gowda helps understand some of those myths associated with egg freezing.
Myth #1: Egg freezing is a trial and error option or it is experimental
Prior to 2013, anyone who chose egg freezing felt that the procedure was fairly new and there wasn’t enough data available on the reasons to pursue this method. However, scientific data indicated that egg freezing is safe, effective, and no longer considered experimental. The processes used in egg freezing — like ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, and even cryopreservation — have actually been in use for decades and are absolutely safe.
Myth #2: Egg freezing is life-threatening to both woman and her child and no babies have been born from frozen eggs
There’s no evidence that ovarian stimulation and egg freezing causes harm to women or their potential future offspring. Extensive studies have shown that there have been no documented differences in the risk of birth defects, chromosomal anomalies, or pregnancy complications when using frozen eggs or embryos (as compared to fresh eggs or embryos). Generally, side effects are uncommon, and those that are experienced are usually minor. Freezing eggs may increase your chances of having a baby later in life, Egg freezing is not an insurance policy, but it is a powerful tool to help give more choice to women.
Myth #3: The process is painful and time-consuming
The hormone medication injections needed to begin the process are typically taken once or twice a day for 8 –11 days. During this period, a doctor will check in on your progress with 5 –7 brief visits to monitor how your body is responding to the medication. When you’re ready, the doctor will finish the process by retrieving your eggs in an egg retrieval surgery. While the word “surgery” may sound scary, there’s no need to stress about this part of the procedure as there are no stitches, no cuts, and it’ll only take about 15 minutes. The whole process takes about two weeks from start to finish.
Myth #4: Freezing eggs at present can make you infertile in the future.
One of the important aspects of debunking egg freezing myths is understanding that extensive studies have shown no evidence that the process of egg freezing is harmful to a woman’s future fertility. Because egg freezing involves removing eggs from the body, many mistakenly think the process decreases the number of eggs available for a future pregnancy. This is a myth and every month women ovulate. During the egg freezing process, we use medication to ensure that multiple eggs develop and mature, preserving some of those otherwise “lost” eggs for use at a later time.
Myth #5: Fresh eggs are better than a frozen one
Current data has shown more healthy pregnancies actually result from frozen egg cycles than fresh egg cycles. In addition, research has found no difference in the risk of birth defects, chromosomal anomalies, or pregnancy complications when comparing pregnancies that result from frozen eggs versus fresh eggs. It is very important to understand that when it comes to fertility — the age of your eggs matters the most. The younger your eggs are, the healthier they will be. Starting at age 35, live birth rates begin to decline by 10% every two years for women who use their own eggs of the same age during in vitro fertilization.
Myth #6: Egg freezing is only an option for a financially affluent class or women with elite careers
Women choose to freeze their eggs for all sorts of reasons, both medical and social. Many women choose to freeze their eggs due to a medical diagnosis others choose to freeze because they do not believe that they have the right environment to have a child, for example, due to financial constraints, not having a partner, or where there are other commitments to be balanced. There are lots of different reasons and every person approaches egg freezing with a unique perspective. In the present day scenario, the majority of women who freeze their eggs do so because they haven’t yet found the right partner.
Myth #7: Egg freezing is a good insurance policy for women in their late 30s
It’s actually best to freeze your eggs before you turn 35. Fertility rates gradually decline as we get older, so you have a higher chance of success if you freeze your eggs at a younger age. Some women in their 20s aren’t really thinking about when they want to have kids, so it tends to be most beneficial for women in their early 30s, maybe they haven’t settled down yet, but they’re thinking about it and their eggs are still good.” (IANS)
The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.
The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.
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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.
"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.
The immune system has to be educated not to attack one's own tissues and organs to prevent autoimmune disease. But pregnancy presents a unique challenge since the fetus expresses proteins found in the placenta as well as proteins whose genetics are distinct from the mother.
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"It was a conceptual leap to link Aire-expressing cells, which are critical for preventing autoimmune disease, to pregnancy," said Tippi Mackenzie, Professor of Surgery at UCSF's Center for Maternal Foetal Precision Medicine.
In the thymus, Aire-expressing cells begin interacting with other immune cells very early in life to teach them what not to attack. The thymus begins to shrink and is nearly gone by adulthood, by which time most immune cells have been educated. But as the thymus shrinks, the population of eTACs in lymph nodes and the spleen expands, the researchers explained.
The study suggests a healthy pregnancy may depend on having these cells around, they added. (IANS/KB)
The tiny emojis being shared on billions of devices worldwide can play a major role in digital communication, with most people saying that emoji compels them to feel more empathy towards others, according to an Adobe report.
Adobe's global emoji study found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
"We were surprised and delighted by the discoveries made in the survey, most notably how enthusiastic respondents were for emoji as a means to express themselves," the company said in a statement.
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Emojis sometimes get criticized for being overly saccharine, but this sweetness is key when it comes to diffusing some of the heaviness of online communication.
"Many of the emoji are focused on positive emotions, so it's easy to insert them into our conversations and lighten the mood," the Adobe study said.
It's not surprising that over half of those surveyed feel more comfortable using emojis than talking on the phone or in person.
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This applies to less intense situations too. Dating, for example, can be tricky — especially when it's online or via digital apps, as it often is now.
The study also found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
In celebration of World Emoji Day on Saturday, Adobe's '2021 Global Emoji Trend Report' surveyed 7,000 people in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. (IANS/KB)
Following the grand Richard Branson show where he carried Andhra Pradesh-born Sirisha Bandla and fellow space travelers on his shoulders after successfully flying to the edge of space, it is time for Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos to applaud Sanjal Gavande, one of the key engineers who designed the New Shephard rocket set to take Bezos and the crew to space on July 20.
Billionaire Bezos is set to fly to the edge of space aboard what is touted as the world's first unpiloted suborbital flight. Born in Kalyan, Maharashtra, Gavande is a systems engineer at Blue Origin who always dreamt of designing aerospace rockets.
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After completing Bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the University of Mumbai, she flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University. She also applied for an engineering job at the US space agency NASA but finally landed her dream job at Blue Origin
Sirisha flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University.IANS
Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Mary Wallace 'Wally' Funk, and other passengers are set to liftoff from west Texas and travel just beyond the edge of space on July 20. Blue Origin announced this week that Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old high school graduate from the Netherlands, would join the crew.
Oliver is the son of millionaire Joe Daemen, Founder, and CEO of the Dutch investment company Somerset Capital Partners. Blue Origin, however, did not reveal how much Daemen paid for his son's trip to space. Bezos chose July 20 as the launch date to honor the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
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The launch site for Blue Origin's first human flight will be in a remote location north of Van Horn, Texas, from where the firm had launched New Shepard for previous flights. Blue Origin has received final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to carry humans on the New Shepard rocket into space.
On July 12, Bandla touched the edge of space with three others, including Virgin Galactic's billionaire CEO Richard Branson. Bandla vaulted into space onboard VSS Unity 22. After the successful spaceflight, Branson carried the Indian-American on his shoulders while celebrating their flight to space, at Spaceport America in New Mexico. (IANS/KB)