An SGF egg freezing patient recently sat down with us to answer some questions about her egg freezing experience and offer advice for other women considering this option. She is a 40 year old attorney living in the D.C. area, where she also attended college and law school. At the age of 35, she made the decision to freeze her eggs at Shady Grove Fertility under the care of Dr. Joseph Doyle.
How did you learn about egg freezing?
I actually learned about egg freezing through a facility tour at Shady Grove Fertility. At the time, I was working on healthcare policy issues and I was able to tour SGF. During the tour, they were talking about treatment options and they brought up egg freezing. When describing the typical egg freezing patient, I couldn’t help but think, “That sounds like me!” They also talked about success rates being higher when you freeze at a younger age, as opposed to waiting. So, I spoke with one of the SGF clinicians to schedule my fertility testing and provide me with more information.
How was the process of getting your fertility tested?
The process was smooth and consisted of a simple blood test and ultrasound. I found it to be very informative and helpful. It really provided me with the right amount of information in order to make my decision.
Why did you personally decide to freeze your eggs?
I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to have children. Now I wasn’t 100% sure if I wanted kids, but it was nice to know I’d always have the option. I also have a very close friend of mine who got married at the age of 40, and she and her husband couldn’t get pregnant. They tried various treatments and it was so hard to watch them go through that hardship. That also impacted my decision to freeze my eggs.
Was paying for egg freezing something you were concerned with?
Yes, the financial aspect of egg freezing was something that concerned me. SGF worked with me and my income to make it more affordable.
How was the actual egg freezing cycle/process?
I did one egg freezing cycle and it was pretty easy to work into my day. Every night at 7pm, I would give myself my injections. My morning monitoring appointments were always at 8am, so I was never late for work. The appointments and the shots really just became part of my daily routine for 2 weeks.
What was the hardest part of the process?
The hardest part for me was getting over the initial shock of having to give myself injections in the belly. The first one was really difficult and I must have watched the informational video on how to inject yourself over 30 times! Once I got through the first few shots, it wasn’t so bad.
What for you has been the biggest benefit of freezing?
Peace of mind! I am proud that I did this for myself. I often get “kudos” from my other doctors and women for being proactive and freezing my eggs. It is such a liberating thing not to have to worry about my biological clock. I don’t have to worry about having a baby, just because I’m getting older. I can make that decision when and if the time is right.
Were you in a relationship when you made the decision to freeze your eggs?
Yes, I had a serious boyfriend through the whole process. Many people thought that I should just try and have a baby with my boyfriend first, but freezing my eggs wasn’t about him. Relationships shouldn’t be based on a “timeline” that society sets for women. You should have a baby when you’re ready and with the right person. Not because you’re at a certain age and happen to be in a relationship. Egg freezing is a personal decision and even now allows me the opportunity to have a baby on my own if I’m not in a relationship.
What advice would you give to other women considering egg freezing?
It’s normal to think about your career! My career is important to me and that’s not a bad thing. I can decide to have children when it’s the right time and not put my career on hold.
You need to view egg freezing as insurance and I’ve never heard anyone say, “Oh I wish I hadn’t purchased insurance.” You’ll never regret the decision to buy this type of insurance. I’m so glad I have that insurance because my boyfriend and I found out we were pregnant in the winter. When the baby was 10 weeks, a large second growth was found in my uterus and doctors advised the safest decision was to end that pregnancy. That wasn’t my only chance at a baby though. I have healthy, younger frozen eggs ready to use when the time is right.
Also, remember from the moment you freeze your eggs, those eggs are younger than you are! You’ll be happier knowing you made a smart and safe choice for you and for your future baby. I’m now 40, but my frozen eggs will always be 35.
How was your experience with SGF and Dr. Doyle?
Fantastic! I’m always referring friends, colleagues, or anyone that will listen to me to Shady Grove Fertility. Dr. Doyle and I still keep in touch. He really cares about all his patients.
To learn more about egg freezing, call our New Patient Center at 1-877-971-7755 to schedule an appointment with a physician or complete our brief online form.