Women all around the world face the same peer pressure since the day they’re born. We are all expected to marry and bear children before we hit the big and apparently terrifying 30. Endless numbers of women throught the years have been married just to have children.
Human oocyte cryopreservation – also known as egg freezing – has been available for personal and altruistic use (i.e. frozen egg donation) since the late ’80s, but a recent rise in Arab interest is causing quite a stir.
To put it very simply, this is what happens: In the prime years – the 20s and 30s – of a woman’s reproductive system, females can undergo the procedure that starts with two to four weeks of self-administered hormone injections and birth pills, followed by 10-14 days of hormone injections to ripen the eggs.
Once ready, the egg is extracted through the vagina under sedation and frozen, then thawed, fertilized and transferred to the woman’s uterus as an embryo when the time is right.
For the first time ever, an Egyptian woman went public on social media about her experience. Reem Mehanna announced on Facebook that she underwent the procedure to give her a chance to have a child later on in life.
Mehanna explained that marrying for the sole purpose of becoming a mom without finding true love with a partner is not an option. The poet also encourages women undergoing chemotherapy to freeze their eggs due to the possibility of infertility.
During an interview with Cairo 24, Azhar scholar Mohamed Abdel Badie Abou Hashem explained that the procedure is a disrutpion to God’s will and timing. The scholar also wondered about how women who choose to have babies in their 40’s will be able to take care of 10-year-old children.