You’ve been thinking about it. You’ve been talking about it. You’ve been reading about it: egg freezing. Fertility preservation. Oocyte cryopreservation. Putting your eggs on ice. Whatever you call it, you’ve been considering it. And whether it’s been on your mind for weeks, for months, or maybe even for years, you can’t shake the feeling that this procedure is something you want to do—or at the very least, learn more about.
In the age of iPhones, blogs, and Facebook, there’s no shortage of information out there about the egg freezing process. You can get most of your questions answered without even walking out of your apartment! But while we’re big fans of community, particularly one that shares content and empowers women to make educated decisions about their bodies (#trulyMD), not all information sharing is created equal. Some of what’s out there is simply inaccurate. Content can be colored based on an individual’s experience: good or bad.
As fertility MDs, girlfriends, and exercise enthusiasts, we’ve chatted with patients, friends, and ladies we meet on the shower line in the locker room about egg freezing: what they know, what they want to know, and what they wish they knew.
Here are the top five questions we’re most frequently asked:
- How do I know if my eggs are any good?
Hands down, this is the question that we’re asked the most. Will the eggs that I freeze today be good enough to make a baby in X number of years? And unfortunately, despite everything that we can do, answering this question accurately is not one of them. There is no way for any fertility doctor to predict whether the eggs that you make today will have what it takes to make healthy embryos in the future. Although we use factors such as age, follicle count, and hormone levels to guide us in guiding you, there’s nothing out there that can answer your question definitively. However, when all else fails, look at your birth date. Simply stated, age trumps everything. The younger you are when you freeze, the more eggs you’ll get and the better your chances are in the future.
- Will I feel crazy on the medications?
No, you probably won’t. While it’s fairly common to fear the negative side effects the drugs can have on your mind, it’s fairly uncommon to have any such side effects. In fact, most women tolerate the medications without a problem. So, trade the negative energy for the positive vibes! You should feel empowered for going through with the procedure. Giving yourself two to three shots a day for about 10 days makes you a warrior, not a wimp!
- Will I gain weight on the medications? Here’s the skinny (or the not-so-skinny) on egg freeing and extra lbs. You’re likely going to gain weight during the process. Your pants will probably feel tight, and leggings and loose dresses will be your wardrobe staple for about two weeks. However, for most women this is no more than a few pounds, and the extra weight that is added is shed during the period following the egg retrieval.
- Will I ruin my chances of having a baby in the future?
Unfortunately, with eggs there is no collecting “comp time.” Simply stated, if you don’t use them, you’ll lose them. So, the eggs that we collect during that retrieval are not being taken from you but actually saved for you. There’s no loss, just gain!
- Does it matter where I freeze my eggs (a.k.a. should I pick the least expensive option)? The reality is that not all egg freezing centers/fertility clinics are created equal. Some are way more experienced and way more talented at the freezing process. They not only know how to freeze your eggs but also how to thaw your eggs, fertilize your eggs, and help your eggs become healthy embryos. And while you’ll be spending a lot of time at the fertility clinic for about two weeks, don’t pick a center based on their proximity to your apartment, the color of the waiting room, or the “deals” they’re offering. We’re talking about your eggs and your future fertility. This isn’t a place to play Let’s Make a Deal.
If it’s been on your mind, go and let it out by talking to your GYN or a fertility MD) While you may choose not to do it, you won’t regret not giving yourself that choice. Although you may still play the “should-a, would-a, could-a game,” when you look back on this decision in one, five, or 10 years, you’ll appreciate that you considered all the options and made an educated decision!