Valerie had her eggs frozen last year. Here she shares the start of her egg freezing journey...
For the past 13 years, I have worked in the field of healthcare and women’s health. I am privileged to have a job where I can help others daily. Working within the medical community of IVF, fertility, and reproductive health I have gained valuable insight and knowledge that has been useful in my personal life. Because of my understanding of the technology of reproductive endocrinology, instinctively I knew that egg freezing would be something I would elect to do for future myself.
I saw first hand the countless women struggling with infertility due to age. I watched and learned about heartbreaking stories as they try to conceive their child. I wanted to avoid those same problems for myself. I wanted to educate others and warn women about the sharp decline of fertility after 35 years old. Most importantly I wanted to encourage women who may not have known about these struggles to keep trying for their dream of a child.
The biggest factor every woman needs to understand is that time is not on our side. Think of egg freezing as a way to stop that biological clock and preserve the younger genetic version of you for the possibility to extend your childbearing years. Personally, I think delaying motherhood until I feel more ready and prepared for children is a very attractive option.
My egg freezing journey really started with my fertility check-up in Autumn 2015. I had just celebrated my 33rd birthday and thought a great present to myself would be to get a fertility check-up. I was ordered a panel of fertility tests and a transvaginal ultrasound. The Anti-Mullerian Hormone test is an inexpensive blood test that can aid in assessing ovarian potential. It will tell how many eggs you may have left (low, average or high number) and allow the doctors to know where your fertility baseline is.
Here are my results from the fertility testing that was explained to me.
- Estrogen 41.8
- FHS 1.6 (should be less than 10)
- HCG less than one
- Gluten Hormone 1.47
- Prolacktin 23.5 (desired range 2 -25)
- Ultrasound good 23 small follicles (both sides) 3.7 mm uterine lining
- No STDs found
I was so relieved. I had never been tested before. I spent most of my teenage and early adult years doing my best not to become pregnant. Now the idea that I could become pregnant some day and that my fertility tests came as expected was such a relief. I had no idea I would feel this way. I realised it can be emotional, but not until I went through my own emotions did I really grasp the depth of these tests.
No wonder most women are in shock when they learn everything that is involved with egg freezing and fertility preservation. It is a shame that no one ever tells you to think about these things when you are 20 instead of 35-40 years old. I am educated in this area and focused on women’s health, yet I found myself looking at all of this with a whole new pair of eyes. Staring at my test results made this whole situation real.
Read part 2 of Valerie's story to learn more about her experience of the egg freezing process