Michelle’s Stats: Froze @ age 36, # eggs frozen: 18
Why did you decide to freeze your eggs?
For the last year or so I have been thinking about freezing my eggs. I never looked into it or was serious about it. Last summer I spoke to a friend who recently froze her eggs and she was telling me about her experience. It just clicked in my head that this was something I needed to do for myself and investigate. I know I want to have children. I was getting older I was concerned that it would be harder to get pregnant once I was ready to have children. So, if there was something I could do for the future one day, then I wanted to do it.
I was currently single and I was feeling the pressure to be married and have children as most of my friends. But, I wanted to be married and then have children. I started to do a lot of research online. I looked up clinics, talked to my gynecologist for suggestions, started asking around if anyone knew women who froze their eggs or did IVF. I found a wonderful clinic Fertility Center of Illinois (FCI) and met with Dr. Kaplan. I was very impressed. I wanted to learn all about the process to feel comfortable with it and understand what I was getting myself into. I read a lot online, posted on message boards, spoke to other women who also did egg freezing and IVF. I felt ready and was excited about the journey I was about to take.
What was the most difficult part of the process for you?
The most difficult process was after the procedure. Another difficult part was actually making the decision to do it. Once I made that decision, then the rest was easy. Giving myself the first shot was hard and scary, but once that was over I felt confident about doing it the next time.
After the procedure I developed Ovarian Hyper stimulation Syndrome (OHSS) which affects a small percentage of women. I developed it about 4 days after the procedure. I started to gain weight quickly and develop a lot of pain in my stomach and ovaries.
I was very bloated and extremely uncomfortable. I knew I was developing the signs of OHS and was very concerned. This was also my biggest fear as beforehand I read about this online and just hoped I would not get it. I sought out other people online who went through this and talked to them. I went to my Dr. and he began to monitor me.
The next day I got worse, went back to the Dr. and then got worse again the following day. I was now up 13 pounds and looked 4 months pregnant. I was in horrible pain. I was depressed and concerned that this would not go away. I relied on my friends and family to help me and so thankful I had their support. Since the fluid was so high in my stomach, my Dr. decided that I needed the fluid drained from my stomach. I had that done and luckily it worked and I felt so much better. Every day after the draining, I was improving. By the time I got my period (which was about 2 weeks later) I was pretty much back to normal. Even with this happening, I do not regret my decision for freezing my eggs at all. We called it a “blip” in time and all worth it knowing I have 18 frozen eggs to use one day.
What would you tell a woman who is considering freezing her eggs?
I would tell other women who were considering this to educate themselves as much as they can on everything related to egg freezing. The best clinics/doctors, procedure, side effects, symptoms, price, the positives and negatives. And talk to people who have done it as well. And once you have decided this is the right thing for you, an emotional support system is very important. I had my family and friends support as well as a young woman who I met on Eggsurance who was doing the procedure the same time as me. We talked every day and I am so thankful for her and her support. I also wrote in a journal daily and that was helpful as well.
If this is something you are considering, ask yourself, “will I regret this one day if I do not do this?” It is better to do it now, the sooner the better. I think I did it at the exactly right time for myself. You are doing something so proactive for yourself. It is one of the best decisions I have made.