Ramona Arena
Ananya Birla

The sexuality of a woman is propelled by the need to reproduce

The sexuality of a woman is propelled by the need to reproduce

The sexuality of a woman is not pleasure driven, it is propelled by the need to reproduce and run the lines of humanity- the social role given to a being of an anatomical design by the society. Women in the social sphere have a conduct ascribed to them.

The role of an ideal woman is set. She has to bear children, children who carry forward a lineage, who are a rung in the transfer of property from one generation to the other.

These children have the stamp of a family on them. This stamp is not just emotional allegiance towards their bearers. It includes continuing the chain of a social disposition quietly and meekly, the way the predecessors did. Even top inspiring women in India have been at the receiving end of a vicious media attention that is a manifestation of this unspoken fact that women are associated a lot with the social gender role of being a mother. Recently, Kareena Kapoor has been all in the news with rumours of pregnancy surrounding her- supposedly, she was spotted hiding a baby bump.

The whole media has focussed its attention on intruding into something that a woman solely should control. Kareena, a top inspiring Indian woman actress sarcastically retorted by saying that she has five hidden kids in London! A nice slap on the face with the signification there!

A woman’s pregnancy is more of a social affair than something inextricably attached to her body and mind. Pregnancy, childbirth and bringing up children are, therefore, activities not innocent and only coming from a self-less, self-abnegating love towards a child that makes you lose yourself in the upbringing of it. The child, right from its entry into the world is heaved upon with the burden of fulfilling the social expectations of the milieu it is born in and propagating not only

The child, right from its entry into the world is heaved upon with the burden of fulfilling the social expectations of the milieu it is born in, and propagating not only ideals but discriminations, stereotypes, ideologies and other facades.

In this process of bearing and raising the child, where does the woman stand? – the gender, the coming together of the social performance of someone who is bestowed with the ability to give birth, does not the woman become just a means to execute the aspirations of a patriarchal society, or any social structure, for that matter, that is deeply rooted in its bias, prejudices and material existence. Therefore, women’s sole position in the society, their social status was strongly attached to this ability to produce children who could carry forward the socio-economic being of a social set up.

Exploitation, oppression followed. Women lost possession of their own selves, of their own biological gifts.

Times are changing now. Feminism has turned every eye towards how women’s freedom has been snatched from them- something as biologically and physically close as nurturing a child in the womb.

With women coming out of the confines of their homes, entering almost every sphere of social life, and understanding the meaning of equality and fighting for it, the process and qualms about pregnancy have also changed.

Women now are not the machines that’ll always be ready to impregnate themselves with social expectations and pressures, leaving aside their own careers or their chances at happiness. The child they give birth to will be their own child, conceived at the right time and with joy, not force.

Recently, a woman’s story attracted a lot of attention on the internet. She froze her eggs at 31 after she got some unfavourable fertility reports. The aim was to store eggs while they were healthy and then plant them in the uterus when you are ready to be pregnant. For working women now, mostly inspiring women in the field of business, and women achievers who give all of themselves to the pursuit of their goal, freezing of eggs is an option whereby they can preserve their eggs without worrying about losing their fertility with age. Inspiring women achievers who want to experience motherhood but do not get the time while they are working on their careers, or because they do not find the right person to be a father to their child, constantly fear the decline of their fertility that might later hamper their chances at pregnancy, or totally prevent it.

Getting your eggs frozen looks like the way to go for women these days!

This is how egg freezing works. The eggs are retrieved from a female’s body almost like it is done in in-vitro fertilization. The same hormone-injection processes are used as in IVF. The completion of the egg freezing cycle takes approximately 4-6 weeks. For 2-4 weeks, self-administered hormones and birth control pills are taken to prevent the action of the natural hormones.  Also, around 10-15 days of hormone injections form a part of the process- this is to stimulate the ovaries and ripen multiple eggs.

After the eggs are matured, they are removed by a needle through the vagina, under ultrasound guidance. Intravenous sedation is used and the process is not painful. The removed eggs are immediately frozen.

This process includes dehydrating the egg and then injecting it with “anti-freeze”, prior to freezing, that prevents the formation of ice-crystals. The eggs are frozen using “slow-freeze” method or the “flash-freezing” method known as vitrification. Frozen eggs can then be kept for years until the woman is ready to get pregnant.

Once the woman is ready to get pregnant or has found the right person who she deems good enough to be the father, she can get the eggs thawed, fertilized and transferred to her uterus as embryos.

Women, therefore, should freeze their eggs, and that too at a younger age because younger the eggs the better they are supposed to fertilize and prove in quality. This gives women a lot of time to work on their lives without having to worry about the weakening of their fertility as it happens with age. The biological factors come into play to reduce your chances at getting pregnant after you are above around 38 years of age. It is observed that as a woman ages the levels rise making it difficult for a woman to get pregnant.

Egg freezing is a kind of emancipation for top inspiring women- it is freedom from the pressures of getting pregnant, freedom from the anxiety that comes from the fear of losing on fertility, and never being able to get pregnant when one wishes, after a woman has successfully established herself in life. In conclusion, women need to freeze their eggs to be more in control of their lives.

But, the problem at the root of this is the high cost of such procedures- will they not cater only to a class of women who have resources enough to undergo the procedures, while a woman in a village still gets only a midwife and gets pregnant almost every two years, and while a majority of women still get pregnant to attain validation in a society that considers useful only when they are producing kids at the stake of their own lives.

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