GUWAHATI, Sept 6 - Cancer patients, soccer players, armed personnel and film actresses in Assam are fighting a common fear called �Missing out syndrome�! It is the fear of missing out on parenthood at a desired time which is now driving them fast towards oocyte (egg) and semen banking, a trend which is picking up in the State like never before.
While working women professionals, including film actresses and air hostesses, fall back to �oocyte banking (egg freezing)� with late marriage and delayed pregnancy in mind, men are opting for �semen freezing� fearing injury.
Records available suggest that injuries which might lead to infertility are found more among professionals like those in defence or for that matter athletes.
However, for young patients dealing with cancer, it is more about the proven fact that patients, be it a man or a woman, tend to lose the ability to reproduce after undergoing radiation and chemotherapy sessions.
�Unlike a few years back, there has been an increase in such practices with people from varied professional fields including defence, glamour world and sports are opting for egg or semen freezing so that the best quality samples of egg or semen could be stored and used for pregnancy whenever deemed fit by the person concerned,� said Deepak Goenka, a leading Guwahati-based in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) expert and chairman of the city-based Institute of Human Reproduction (IHR) while talking to this reporter.
The IHR which is one of the pioneers in the field was among one of the first to have such facilities in place. The first baby of Northeast India from cryo-preserved oocyte was delivered at IHR in 2012.
�In today�s world, women have become career-oriented. The idea is to ensure that they are not denied the joy of parenthood and family in case of any eventuality or a delayed marriage or delayed family planning without compromising with their career,� said Dr Goenka.
�It was reported that corporate houses like Facebook and Apple are paying for egg preservation of their employees, and earlier in this year, Pentagon, US, has also started paying for their defence personnel for the same cause,� the IVF expert said.
�As on today, IHR has preserved oocytes of more than 100 females,� Dr Goenka revealed.
He also mentioned that football players who come during the Indian Soccer League and otherwise from Meghalaya and other places tend to drop in at the IHR to avail the facility. �We, in IHR, have received and stored such samples from all sorts of people regardless of their profession, class, religion, etc.,� Dr Goenka said.