Egg freezing (aka mature oocyte cryopreservation) has turn into an more and more common choice for individuals who wish to take household planning into their very own palms. Within the U.S. alone, egg freezing elevated by 2,695 % from 2009 to 2018, based on the Facilities for Illness Management (CDC). That quantity continues to rise amidst rising uncertainties surrounding reproductive rights. And because the process turns into extra common, extra individuals who’ve undergone the method are sharing their tales with others inquisitive about what it’s like.
When New Yorker Dria Murphy determined to freeze her eggs earlier this yr, she took to social media to share each step of the journey along with her 33,500 followers. On this week’s episode of The Effectively+Good Podcast, Murphy shares her expertise with our host, Ella Dove, alongside the fertility specialist who helped her obtain her egg-freezing objectives, Catha Fischer, MD, medical director of Spring Fertility.
Hearken to the total episode right here:
What freezing your eggs is *actually* like
It’s costly, for starters
In accordance with Dr. Fischer, the number-one barrier for these desirous to freeze their eggs is price. Whereas value varies throughout states, one can anticipate to spend wherever from $7,000 to $15,000 to freeze their eggs, she says, including that this price ticket retains many individuals from pursuing the process of their 20s.
“I believe ladies would do it youthful if it was cheaper or lined,” says Fischer. “Folks that have protection are freezing their eggs virtually instantly. As quickly as they get the job, they’re coming to speak to me. Individuals that do not have protection are coming to me of their later thirties, once they really feel like they’ve a bit of little bit of a stash to place towards this.”
Whereas the upfront price of egg freezing is prohibitive for many, what’s extra of a deterrent for youthful folks, based on Dr. Fischer, is the annual payment for egg storage, which might price as a lot as $1,000 per yr. “That’s why folks aren’t freezing eggs at 21,” she says, “as a result of what’s the aim of that? It is most likely $10,000 out of storage.”
Due to this, Fischer says that 37 has turn into probably the most cost-effective age for folks to freeze their eggs. At 37, you’re more likely to come back again for them sooner or later, whereas youthful people will discover themselves footing a bigger invoice for storage prices, solely to not pursue IVF.
“Ought to ladies youthful than 37 do that? Completely,” says Dr. Fischer. “It simply is a matter of: Do you’ve gotten the monetary means to place towards this, and is it a precedence.”
There’s plenty of preparation concerned
Sometimes, the egg extraction course of begins throughout your interval, whereby you’ll administer each day injections to extend egg manufacturing.
“We are able to begin egg freezing virtually any time,” provides Dr. Fischer, “however ideally, it is the third day of your interval, or the twenty first day of your cycle. From that time, we determine to begin often about 10 to 12 nights or days of injections. The injections are artificial variations of pure hormones.”
These injections trick your physique into producing extra eggs in a single cycle than it sometimes does, giving your physician the perfect likelihood at retrieving a number of eggs directly. Whereas small, these pictures can nonetheless “suck,” says Dr. Fischer.
“The primary evening’s the worst,” she says, “after which it will get simpler. You’re taking these pictures for about 5 nights earlier than you are available. Once you are available, we’re doing a transvaginal ultrasound.”
That ultrasound permits your physician to see your ovaries and rely the follicles, or the tiny sacs of fluid that include particular person eggs. This paired with blood work determines the subsequent plan of action, which might embody modifications in injection dose or an extended (or shorter) ready interval earlier than the subsequent appointment. Over the course of ten to 12 days, sufferers often come into the workplace 4 to 5 instances earlier than scheduling the egg retrieval.
“Data is energy. There’s a lot false info on the market, and that’s most likely why I’m so keen about speaking about it.” —Dria Murphy
The process (and outcomes) are distinctive to each particular person
The egg extraction course of varies vastly from individual to individual. For Murphy, the process was a painless breeze. Regardless of her struggles with PCOS a metabolic and endocrine dysfunction that may impact fertility. Medical doctors had been in a position to efficiently extract 20 eggs, and 18 of these eggs had been viable.
“It was actually, actually seamless,” says Murphy. “I keep in mind going into the process, and them asking my title. I fell asleep, and I awakened and was completed. I instantly FaceTimed my dad.”
Fischer factors out that this extraction course of is completely different for everybody, and generally a better extraction quantity is critical so as to discover the quantity of viable eggs you wish to freeze—which is why some folks choose to do a number of rounds of egg retrievals if they’ll afford it.
“One other key level is that [us] ladies are actually dangerous at evaluating ourselves to one another,” provides Dr. Fischer. “Some folks, it could take them 5 rounds to get to 18; what actually issues is, what’s your purpose from these eggs? What number of do you have to obtain your objectives? For some ladies that is 5; others, it is 60.”
Why there’s a necessity for extra transparency round egg freezing
As egg freezing turns into extra common, holding open discussions in regards to the course of turns into increasingly vital to make sure persons are knowledgeable and never being taken benefit of. Murphy hopes that sharing her journey in egg freezing can demystify the method for different those that are contemplating freezing their eggs.
“Data is energy,” says Murphy, “and the earlier folks educate themselves on the how, the why, the when, is basically, actually vital. There’s a lot false info on the market, and that’s most likely why I’m so keen about speaking about it.”
To study extra about what it’s wish to freeze your eggs, hearken to the total podcast episode right here.
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