At 34, I broke up with my long-term partner. Being childless, and most recently – manless, I decided it was the right time to freeze my eggs. I was sure that I wanted to do it, I didn’t ask many questions. Maybe it was better this way so I didn’t have second thoughts. I decided to put together a list of things I wish I knew before starting this. If you’re anything like me, thinking about doing this or going through this, maybe you’ll find it useful.
It is expensive
Looking into freezing my eggs, I was aware of this. What I wasn’t aware of were all the additional costs – bloodwork, regular checks, hormonal shots… This adds a significant amount of money to the cost of the procedure/storage itself, so be prepared.
It is lonely
Freezing the eggs is almost the same procedure as IVF up to the – well, fertilization part. You’ll be going to the same clinic as all the couples trying to get pregnant. You’ll be hormonally – enhanced, bloated, surrounded by all the couples holding hands and supporting each other. This is one of the situations where I was grateful for covid-19 restrictions and the fact that in most cases, it’s only the woman who’s allowed inside the clinic. Made the sense of loneliness a bit easier to bear.
There Will Be Shots
What I learned from this is that there is no magic formula – hormonal therapy is very much individual. I was on a very low dosage of the hormones, but it still included 2-3 shots a day. Since I live alone now, this means I had to administer those 2-3 shots every day by myself. I could have gone to the clinic so the nurse would do it, but in order to save time, I opted for the do-it-myself version. Not the best part of the process, but also not the worst.
Behold of the Mood Swings
When I asked about the side effects of hormonal therapy, I was told there might be some acne and weight gain. I wasn’t too worried about either – as for acne, not like I go much anywhere these days (and even when I do I carry a mask). As for the weight gain, I’m fairly active, so I was hoping that my weight would quickly return to normal. But what I wish I was told was – behold of the mood swings. I would burst crying every afternoon, for no reason at all. I was emotional, sensitive, scared… I acted rashly and impulsively, said things, DID things I regretted… I won’t sugar-coat this – it was a complete and utter emotional shitshow.
This should be the number one and the most dangerous side effect IMHO.
There Will Be Bloating
Another wonderful and amazing side-effect of this is bloating. A few days before and a few days after the procedure, I had a feeling my insides were going to explode. It’s a horrible feeling, so be prepared.
There Will Be No Physical Activity
The doctors said there would be “limited physical activity” in the week before the procedure, which they later turned to “nothing more strenuous than walking”. This lasted for a few days after the procedure, which turned into well over 10 days of no exercise. Being restrained from doing sports, in addition to being under influence of hormones, I found this prolonged period of just sitting around hard.
Although I was told the procedure itself is “mildly discomforting”, my extremely low pain tolerance immediately translated this to “moderate pain”. And it was right. The procedure is quite painful, so opt for anesthesia if given the option.
Tiredness is Normal
While told to avoid physical activity 2-3 days after the procedure, I was expected to still be able to do my job. But the day after the procedure I felt so incredibly tired that I ended up taking a day off. I spent an entire day in bed, unable to do anything. Since we live in these interesting times of a global pandemic and all, you can never be too sure if these are early signs of covid. But the doctors assured me that my body was dropping its hormonal levels fast, which caused this extreme fatigue. My advice would be – prepare to do nothing for 2 days after the procedure (not including the procedure day itself). Take time off from work, have food and tv ready and just rest. You’ve been through a lot already.
There it is, hope it helps someone.