*Please note this is my personal experience and things can be different depending on where and why you do it. Consult with your doctor for more information. I am sharing my experience for anybody that has to do it or is considering it.
Freezing my eggs is something I never really thought I would have to go through in life. It is a life experience that has taught me a lot and given me a newfound respect for women who cannot get pregnant and have to go through IVF.
The first appointment.
The first time I walked in the clinic, I had no idea what to expect whatsoever. I registered at the entrance and was told I would have anultrasound to look at my ovaries and to see how many follicles they could see. It meant no needles so, although it caught me off guard, I was ok with it. That is until I saw what kind of ultrasound it was. It wasn’t one of those cute ones they do over your belly to look at the baby in the monitor. (Obviously). It was an intravaginal ultrasound which just seemed like another uncomfortable thing I had to go through that I didn’t want to do. (It wasn’t that bad finally. No pain just uncomfortable.) That day, the doctor told me she could see 3 or 4 good eggs which is not that much but I was still so thankful to even have any after going through 12 chemo treatments. She told me that taking the contraceptive pill suppresses the amount of eggs you produce therefore things might be different after I stop taking it. It ended up being true as I now have 20 eggs in the freezer! We then sat down to discuss how the whole process goes and what my options were. After going over everything, I was overwhlemed but determined not to let fear stop me from having a family in the future.
What the process entitles.
-Subcutaneous injections. (These are given either in the stomach fat or on the thigh. I decided to have all of them in the stomach as I was told it is less painful. Some of the medication was strong so it stung but it was bearable. Please note I am a big baby for pain.)
Steps to freezing your eggs:
- Stop any type of contraception. (I knew I would probably have to stop taking the pill so I stopped taking it the day before my first appointment which ended up being a really smart decision.)
- Ultrasounds. The process starts once you get a period. ( A couple of days after I stopped the pill)
- Injections that you give yourself (Or have your mom do it for you like I did): Repronex (To make your follicles grow and mature. It is given in the morning) Ovidrel (To stop you from ovulating) Buserelin (To make your follicles detach from the walls of your ovaries so the retrieval is possible.)
October 30th: First Ultrasound. Meeting with doctor.
November 2nd: Ultrasound #2. First Repronex Injection.
November 3rd: Second Repronex injection.
November 4th: Third Repronex injection.
November 5th: Fourth Repronex injection.
November 6th: Fifth Repronex injection.
November 7th: Ultrasound #3. 1st blood test. First Ovidrel injection. Sixth Repronex injection.
November 8th: Second Ovidrel Injection. Seventh (Last) Repronex injection.
November 9th: Ultrasound #4. 2nd blood test. Third (Last) Ovidrel injection. Buserelin injection. (36h before procedure.)
November 11th: Procedure day. Retrieval of the eggs.
The day of the retrieval.
I was told to be at the clinic for 8 am Saturday morning with an empty stomach. I was immediately brought to the room where they prep you for the procedure. I put on the usual sexy hospital gown and cap and they then proceeded to taking my vitals and installing the IV. I was told I was the second person to get the procedure so I had to wait for the first one to go. I was pretty nervous to go through the procedure because I am extremely sensitive to pain and get very anxious. I was managing ok until I saw the women come back and knew it was my turn to go. The tears came down fast and I started panicking. The medical team in the operating room was so nice and understanding. I will not lie, it was the most pain I have ever felt in my life. I was squeezing my mom’s hand with my right hand and one of the nurses hand with my left hand. She talked me through the whole procedure while I was trying to control my breathing and was asking for more pain meds every 2 minutes. I do not mean to scare anybody because everybody reacts differently. I was told some women sleep through the procedure which I have so much respect for. Because of my anxiety and stress, the medication doesn’t work as well on me and I think that is one of the reasons I felt so much pain on top of me being sensitive to the pain. The procedure lasted about 30 minutes total including them giving me the medication and sedation and getting eggs from both of my ovaries. I was then brought back to the recovery room for one hour before being given the ok to leave.
My personal tips.
- Take it one day at a time. The idea of having so many injections, ultrasounds and blood tests to me was so scary and overwhelming but I put my big girl pants on and took it one day at a time
- Think of why you are doing this. Ultimately, this is to be able to have kids on your own one day. It is much bigger than the pain you will go through.
- Have a support person to have by your side. It can be a family member, a friend or your partner. Having somebody helping you go through this will make it easier.