• Egg Freezing: A Local Fertility Nurse Shares the 101

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    Egg freezing. It’s an Instagram ad, it most likely feels like a foreign land, and it’s definitely not top on most women’s priority list. We get it. Right now, you are prob not thinking about egg freezing {or even if you are, it’s quite the undertaking/situation filled with questions}. Regardless, it’s an option that some women turn to at some point — or wish they had. Some ladies may work for a progressive company that covers it and they go ahead with the procedure, just in case. Or on that note, some women may want to delay their reproductive plans because of said company, focusing on their careers instead. Some girls just haven’t met “the one” yet and settling is not an option. And some are forced, for lack of a better word, to do so due to a cancer diagnosis – freezing eggs prior to chemotherapy is recommended since reproductive cells can be affected as a side effect.

    No matter what the reasoning may be, it’s important to know both the pros and the cons of egg freezing, as many women are misinformed about the outcome. It is certainly not a security blanket, although a good backup plan. To help navigate the very ominous seas of fertility preservation, or as it’s called it for the purposes of this post, egg freezing, we’re having some expert help come in. Fertility specialist Leyla Bilali {BS, BSN, RN} of Fertility Together breaks it down, read on to find out more.

    Egg freezing 101

    When is it best to start considering freezing your eggs? 

    LB: First, timing is essential for egg freezing. Age is a very sensitive subject as is, but when it comes to fertility women are forced to talk about it. Egg quality technically begins to decline at around age 28 {please cue eye roll…but, we’re serious and science is science}.

    As a fertility specialist, I recommend freezing your eggs between the ages of 28-38. It’s not that it can’t be done after 38, but especially after age 35 or 36, it can become significantly harder to produce a high count and even harder for high quality. Now there are always exceptions and outliers, but these are the general statistics on the subject.

    Read More:  A Therapist Shares How to Prioritize Your Mental Health

    What is the actual process? 

    LB: Many women don’t realize that the process for egg retrieval involves daily injections and an actual medical procedure involving anesthesia. The injections alone are enough to scare some people off after their initial consultation with the doctor. Leyla has had so many women come back a year or more later kicking themselves for not doing it sooner because of the fear of shots. Education is important here, because learning why you need the injections can help talk you off the ledge. Your physician will go through all of these mechanisms with you depending on the medication protocol that is chosen for you based on your results and history.

    The procedure itself is very minimally invasive, short and has a relatively speedy recovery depending on the number of eggs retrieved. Most people go back to work the next day. {This is where I come in – I hate to see women run away from egg freezing solely based on that.}

    Fun fact: Leyla’s services include private classes and injection administration where she comes to you in the comfort of your own home.

    How much does it cost? 

    LB: An egg freezing cycle can range from $5,000-$6,000 to $12,000-$13,000 depending on the clinic and medication coverage. As mentioned before, some companies do cover the process, but they may not cover the medications – or vice versa. The financial team at each practice can help break all of this down for you, or you can discuss with human resources at your company.

    What happens next after egg freezing? 

    Let’s circle back to the security blanket misconception here. While freezing eggs is very proactive and smart, it’s not as cut and dry as it sounds. Just because you have eggs frozen doesn’t mean you can go back to them whenever and use them with no issues. It’s not possible to know the quality of your frozen eggs until you actually attempt to use them (fertilizing them – aka injecting sperm to create an embryo), and this applies whether you have five or 25 eggs, as quantity is no indicator of quality here.

    This is where Leyla’s services come in and during a consultation, she can review all of the possible outcomes before you pull the trigger on fertility preservation.

    See More: Let’s Talk PMS {With Dr. Meika of CarePoint Health}

    How do you know where to go for fertility preservation? 

    It can be difficult to choose a clinic in the Tristate area, but egg freezing is a much more intimate process and you want to make sure you vibe with not just the doctor but the whole facility in charge of your procedure as a whole.

    {Leyla can also help here, as she provides consults to help guide you in the right direction in terms of which doctor and clinic to select}.

    No matter what you decide to do, it’s important to be informed so that you can make decisions when you’re ready/comfortable/or not ever, if that’s your path and decision. Everyone is so different, and we thought that this article would be a super informative way to get info out there and answer some “burning” questions about egg freezing.

    Have more questions for Leyla? Get in touch: fertilitytogether@gmail.com


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