Shady Grove Fertility’s Shruti Malik, M.D., of our Fair Oaks, VA, office is featured in The Washington Post’s Solo-ish podcast: Thinking of freezing your eggs? Here are some women who’ve done it.
Followers of The Washington Post’s Solo-ish section know it’s the place to find answers to all the dating and relationship questions singles face. On the recently launched Solo-ish podcast, Thinking of freezing your eggs? Here are some women who’ve done it, editor Lisa Bonos discusses everything you need to know about egg freezing—making the decision to freeze, the toll freezing eggs may take on your everyday life, and how the process works, as well as both the short- and long-term medical and psychological benefits.
Searching for Love
The conversation begins with fellow Post writer Ellen McCarthy, whose new book chronicles her career as a wedding columnist as she searches for love, telling her own journey of egg freezing. McCarthy candidly discusses how much the ‘stigma’ associated with egg freezing has changed over the years and how she found support from family and, surprisingly, her male friends.
Four years later and now married with two children McCarthy admits she doesn’t know if she will use her banked eggs, but still encourages women to learn about the process and their options. According to McCarthy, the release of pressure she felt from freezing her eggs and preserving her fertility was invaluable and is an important part of her journey.
The Basic History of Egg Freezing
When the conversation shifts to the nuts and bolts of egg freezing, Shady Grove Fertility’s own Dr. Shruti Malik, a previous egg freezer herself, joins to explain exactly what the procedure is, who it is for, why it is safe, and what every woman needs to know about her fertility. Bonos begins her interview with Dr. Malik asking why egg freezing appears to be more popular recently. Malik agrees that the procedure has certainly become more mainstream as a result of the lifted experimental label and recent results provide women with a level of comfort. She continues to explain the prior freezing methods damaged the egg and resulted in lower success rates. Since 2012, many advances in freezing technology—including vitrification and improved lab cultures and storage—have contributed to the greatly improved outcomes.
What to Expect When Freezing Your Eggs
Dr. Malik goes on to explain the process from a patient’s perspective. After consulting with a physician and reviewing the results of ovarian testing and a blood test, a woman will take medication to mature as many eggs as possible for that cycle. Medication includes 2 to 3 weeks of birth control pills, followed by 10 to 12 days of daily hormone shots. Regarding the shots, Dr. Malik assures listeners, “They aren’t as bad as they seem. I promise.”
While the patient is stimulating her ovaries to produce more eggs, she will begin a series of ultrasounds and blood tests every 3 to 4 days, then every other day, and finally every day towards the end of the stimulation phase. On the day of her egg retrieval, the patient will be lightly sedated for the non-invasive procedure. A friend will drive her home and the vitrified eggs will go into our secure storage.
Addressing some of the myths and misinformation about fertility and egg freezing, Dr. Malik concluded the discussion stating there is no evidence that egg freezing would hamper future fertility and that even a healthy lifestyle cannot secure fertility. Dr. Malik encourages women in their late-20s and early- to mid-30s who are curious about egg freezing to consult a physician and take the preliminary tests.
Listen to Dr. Malik’s complete interview here: