This post is the first of its kind on Belle Brita, although I hope to offer more posts like this! Today’s guest post is a sponsored blog post from Noreen Butler at the Frozen Egg Bank Network. I love having guest posts as part of Friday’s The F-Word. It’s important that I offer multiple perspectives on feminism, gender equality, and women’s rights.
As a modern woman with a busy lifestyle and budding career, settling down and starting a family might be the last thing on your mind. Having children in your forties may not be part of the long-term plan either, but the reality is that all those items on your to-do list will take time. The more time that slips by, the more difficult it may be to conceive when you’re ready. And what if the ‘perfect partner’ doesn’t come along in time?
Opting to freeze your eggs while still in your twenties or thirties allows you to take control of your own fertility. While the cost of freezing your eggs may seem dear at the outset, it poses clear advantages to those of us committed to our education, building wealth or developing our careers.
Preparing for the Unforeseeable Future
It is a well-documented fact that as we age, conception becomes more difficult for many women. Health issues can arise, and with them increased risk for complications. Egg reserve also decreases, and with it the potential for becoming pregnant when we want to. Egg freezing betters our chances to have the life we dream of without having to make difficult choices between one life path and another – and when that biological clock starts ticking hard, having taken measures to preserve your fertility will be its own reward.
What if… your current relationship is not one you envision lasting ‘forever’?
What if… you are right at a pivotal moment in your career, busy building a legacy for your future?
What if… your studies are steering you into new and exciting directions, you are exploring uncharted territory, and your immediate future does not include a family plan?
For all these reasons, and many others, having a child may not be in the cards right now.
The good news is you have options. It is possible to get that degree, have the career, travel the world, and plan for motherhood – no matter what the future holds. Freezing your eggs is a way to take control of your fertility and sculpt the life you want for yourself. No matter where you are in your life plan, take heart in knowing that you can indeed have it all.
The best part about preparing for your future? It’s never too early to start thinking about it. Though the cost of egg freezing may seem prohibitive to people in their early twenties, there are now companies offering financing, both for the procedure and for egg storage, allowing you to stretch out your payments over time to make it more realistic.
Think of it as an investment in your future and your child’s future. With the time to put yourself on solid ground financially, psychologically and emotionally, you are doing the best you possibly can for the health of your child – not to mention the peace of mind you’ll give yourself.
Studies show that fertility is greatest when women are between the ages of twenty and twenty-eight. After thirty-five, chances of conceiving decrease by half. By the age of forty-five, the average woman’s chance of getting pregnant naturally is only 1%.
Once you decide that freezing your eggs is a good fit for you, you will be required to undergo a physical exam to assess your reproductive health. You will receive testing for AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) and FSH (Follicle-Stimulating Hormone), which help determine how many eggs are in your ovaries. Then your OBGYN prescribes an appropriate course of hormone therapy that stimulates egg production. Your doctor monitors you throughout the treatment via a combination of ultrasounds and blood work. When you are ready, you undergo egg retrieval.
Retrieval is performed under an anesthetic, and usually takes less than thirty minutes to complete. An aspiration needle is guided with a trans-vaginal ultrasound probe through the vaginal wall to the ovaries, which are aspirated to retrieve as many eggs as possible. After retrieval, your eggs are flash-frozen for storage in a process known as vitrification. This is a high-tech method of cryopreservation that prevents ice crystals from forming and protecting the integrity of your eggs during storage.
When the Time is Right
Nobody wants to feel like a victim of societal pressure, or to be a slave to her own timelines. Imagine being able to reclaim autonomy over a significant aspect of being a woman! Motherhood doesn’t have to be now or never. While the practical advantages of freezing your eggs is easily described from a medical and scientific standpoint, the real benefits come from knowing that you are completely in control of your life, your future and your body.
Women who opt for this procedure report feeling better about themselves, and are more relaxed, confident and assured about their future. The pressure to succumb to their biological clock during a crucial phase of life has effectively been removed.
I realize freezing your eggs might be a controversial topic for some of my readers. It’s also only a financial option for some women. However, part of being pro-choice and supporting reproductive rights includes the full spectrum of reproductive options. I certainly found this guest post to be enlightening!
Do you think women can “have it all”? Are we asking the wrong question? How do fertility treatments fit into the elusive “all”? I’m interested in your thoughts!