I Should Have Frozen My Eggs. Here's Why.

What Women Really Think
May 21 2013 1:43 PM

I Should Have Frozen My Eggs

A technician opens a vessel containing women's frozen egg cells

Photo by LEX VAN LIESHOUT/AFP/Getty Images

Sarah Elizabeth Richards makes a great case for why a stigma against egg freezing shouldn’t exist and why women who freeze their eggs are happier for doing so. I know about these fears because I did not freeze my eggs. Yes, I repeat, I did not freeze my eggs. That’s why at 42 years old, I’m involved in the long, painful process of in vitro fertilization.

So here I offer even more myth-dispelling reasons why egg freezing doesn’t have to be expensive, emotionally draining, or painful.

Misconception No. 1: Egg freezing is the same as IVF


I think one of the biggest reasons most women don’t consider freezing their eggs is that they (me too, back then) do not understand the concept. We spend so much of our youth trying to avoid pregnancy, then we spend our 20s and 30s tuning out people who tell us that our clock is ticking. I think by the time we women reach an age when we might begin considering the process, we have an emotional block about hearing anything about it, which is basically this: Before you ovulate, a doctor retrieves your eggs with a syringe from your ovaries via your vagina. Then he puts the good ones in the freezer. (IVF will require you unfreezing them, adding sperm, and putting them in your uterus).

Misconception No. 2: Egg freezing is painful

You are under local sedation for retrieval. (If you have many eggs removed it can be general). The most I ever felt under local was a tiny pinch. Moreover, my clinic has a laser light show of stars floating across the ceiling, just in case I didn’t want to watch the ultrasound of the doctor fishing in my follicles to extract the eggs. They even play classical music. The whole process takes less than an hour—and that’s counting the part for the Valium to kick in. It’s easier than going to the dentist … and my father is my dentist, so I know of what I speak.

Misconception No. 3: Egg freezing is prohibitively expensive

I go to a holistic clinic where egg retrieval costs $1,200 and freezing another $1,000. That’s only $2,200 per round. My previous insurance did not cover the process, but it did cover the medication. My current insurance covers up to $10,000 worth of all fertility costs. Some people have $20,000 riders. Check your insurance and find a good but inexpensive clinic.

Misconception No. 4: It takes over your life

You can do the entire process in a period of three months. The first month you go to the clinic, meet the doctors, have some tests done, and plan for your period. The next month, you go to the clinic a few times for “monitoring”—they do blood tests and ultrasounds to prepare for your retrieval—and more frequently toward the middle of the month. Repeat the process the following month if you want to do another round.

Misconception No. 5: Medications will make you fat and hormonal

You will have to take medication and do injections for every cycle. But you’re only going to be doing this once or twice. So you might have some adverse affects from the medication—it’s more like a bad PMS. So even if you gain a few pounds or have a couple of crying jags, chances are, no one will notice. Just blame it on a bad breakup (with your eggs).

So, there you have it. Freezing your eggs is worse than PMS but better than a trip to the dentist and can be done in less than a season. It may be covered by insurance but it can run you less than a week-long spa vacation. Like Ms. Richards, I think women should consider it—single women without life partners in sight, busy women with no time for children, women who are not sure they want to have children. I had fit into all those categories—and if I had stored my 35-year-old eggs in the freezer, I might already be with child. 



Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

Hidden Messages in Corporate Logos

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

How Can We Investigate Potential Dangers of Fracking Without Being Alarmist?

My Year as an Abortion Doula       

  News & Politics
Sept. 16 2014 9:22 AM The Most Populist Campaign of 2014
Sept. 15 2014 7:27 PM Could IUDs Be the Next Great Weapon in the Battle Against Poverty?
Atlas Obscura
Sept. 16 2014 8:00 AM The Wall Street Bombing: Low-Tech Terrorism in Prohibition-era New York
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 9:13 AM Clive James, Terminally Ill, Has Written an Exquisitely Resigned Farewell Poem
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 7:36 AM The Inspiration Drought Why our science fiction needs new dreams.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 16 2014 7:30 AM A Galaxy of Tatooines
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.