I Froze My Eggs
• Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a 30 year old Sexologist who is just like every other modern day woman. I am ambitious and determined in my professional life but have also been through my share of heartache and confusion in the dating world. I might not always get it right, but I don’t believe these days dating is a matter of right or wrong. I stay true to myself, challenge myself as to what I want and focus on being happy each day instead of getting anxious about a future that is so uncertain. So far living in the now when it comes to my dating life works much better than trying to work out if someone will be with me forever.
• You recently had your eggs frozen - walk us through why you decided to pursue this.
It was a concept that was introduced to me a few years ago and I always thought I would do it as a bit of a back up plan. My life turned out differently to what I thought it would be when I was a teenager. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but motherhood is something I have always wanted to experience but time seemed like it could be a potential issue. It wasn’t until I started doing research for my book #singlebutdating that I was told it was better to be freezing my eggs younger to ensure high quality and also a good quantity. I was also informed that it was not the full proof backup plan I had once thought, so why wait? My egg quality and quantity was only going to be declining.
• Can you briefly tell us what the process entails?
On the first day of your period you are injected with a follicle stimulating hormone to get as many follicles as possible. The follicles are what hoses the eggs. They are wanting to get as many and big in size but there is no guarantee that inside each one will be an egg. For example, I had 21 follicles and 8 eggs were retrieved. A few days later you are given another hormone that you take every morning to stop you from ovulating and keep the eggs inside the ovaries and give them time to get to a mature size. Each person is different and the process will be different each time. Towards the end you are monitored to find out what the ideal time for retrieval is. Some people are given additional hormones to try and help the maturing process. When the time is right, it’s a simple procedure to take the eggs out. Some doctors will insist on your being asleep but my doctor likes to do the procedure awake. It was only slightly uncomfortable and actually a really fascinating thing to be a part of. The doctor takes a long needle and inserts into each ovary and then drains the follicles. Am Embryologist is on stand by to take the test tube into a big incubator looking thing and go searching for the eggs.
• What are some things you know now that you wish you had known before you froze your eggs?
It was not the easiest process for me and actually did surprise me a bit. I suffered emotionally and physically afterwards quite badly. Each person goes through the journey differently so it’s hard to predict how everyone will feel. I gave myself time and space that if I was going to feel a little emotional and crazy to just be that. I knew since I was going to be injected with hormones that things would feel strange. But I didn’t feel crazy because of the hormones, it felt real. As though the thoughts in my head had nothing to do with what was being injected and were real thoughts. I didn’t know if it was due to the hormones or if it was really some issues I had that were exacerbated by the drugs. It challenged me a lot on my opinions about having children, motherhood and dating. I was close to my 30th birthday and had a bit of a freak out. The comments people make sometimes also can feel like daggers. It took me some time after to recover from all of this but looking back it was good that I had to address these issues head on. Physically it was a challenge. My tummy was so bloated some nights it looked like I was pregnant. I suffered quite badly afterwards which I was not aware could happen. It really took an entire month for my body to go back to normal, until my next period. I think I went into this very guarded and determined but didn’t stop to think about the journey I was going to embark on or what things might come up. I even wanted to start this as I was towards the end of my book launch. Thank goodness someone talked me out of that.
• What advice do you have for other women who are thinking about freezing their eggs?
Make sure you take the time to not only understand why you want to do this but what it’s really all about. It’s important to set up a support network around you and talk to as many people who have gone through this process as possible. What really helped me was having women who had experienced this journey check in with me and reassure me that what I was feeling was normal. It made me feel a little less crazy in a world that can be very scary and complex. But I now have experienced the benefits and it really has given me this amazing outlook on life and love. I feel as though I’m now able to live in the moment more and enjoy the dating journey instead of feeling pressured to make future decisions straight away for the sake of motherhood.