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If you are considering freezing your eggs, it might be helpful to talk to women on the other side of egg freezing. What was it like? How old were you when you froze your eggs? How many did you get? Did you end up needing them?

We asked a few former egg freezers these questions to share with the world. In this Q&A – you’ll hear from real women who have undergone egg freezing to get a first-hand account of what it entails and if they’d do it again. So whether you're single, in a relationship, or just curious about the process, this Q&A is for you.

The egg freezers:

  • Lauren is a 43-year-old healthcare executive who froze her eggs at 36 and used them in her 40s to have two children.
  • Michelle is a 40-year old tech exec who froze her eggs at 35. 
  • Eliza is a 39-year old healthcare investor who froze her eggs at 34.
  • Stephanie is a 39-year old non-profit fundraiser and mom of three. She froze her eggs at 35 to donate them to her sister.

How many eggs did you freeze?

Lauren: I froze 35 eggs across three egg retrievals when I was 36-38. 

Michelle: I froze 19 eggs in one retrieval when I was 35.  

Eliza: We ended up with 16 eggs and froze four embryos from one retrieval when I was 34.

Stephanie: I froze 14 eggs in one retrieval when I was 35.

Why did you freeze your eggs?

Lauren: I was recently divorced and focusing on my career and my own journey. I knew I wanted children, probably as a single mom, but wanted the flexibility to wait until I was ready. 

Michelle: As I approached my 35th birthday, the startup I was working for got acquired, so I decided that was fortuitous timing to use some of the funds to invest in my future. I wasn't ready to have kids at the time, but wanted to keep my options open. 

Eliza: I had PCOS and knew I could have trouble conceiving like some others in my family. My doctor suggested freezing embryos since I was in a relationship.

Stephanie: At the time, my younger sister had been diagnosed with a rare condition, which required major surgery and the removal of multiple large benign cysts from many of her organs, including near and on her reproductive organs. We weren't sure what the outcome would be, and I wanted her to know that even if she was unable to have children herself following the procedure, she would have my eggs waiting for her to use, ensuring that her own dna (adjacent) would be in the mix.

How would you describe the experience – both physically and emotionally?

Lauren: It was physically and emotionally draining. I ultimately went through three egg retrievals over two years. I am extremely lucky to have an incredibly supportive family (including my 96 year old grandmother!) and strong friends who encouraged and cared for me through every step of the process. It was actually beautiful to experience the love, kindness and support from so many wonderful people to help me achieve my dream.

Michelle: At the time, none of my close friends had frozen their eggs, so I did a lot of Googling and it was a little like navigating in the dark. I visited several clinics in NYC, and ended up choosing the clinic based on the doctor I felt the most comfortable with and one that guaranteed "at least 12 eggs in up to 4 cycles" for patients with a certain AMH level. To better educate and prepare myself, I created a spreadsheet to document visits, schedule, medicine dosage, etc -- and have ended up sharing this doc with multiple friends and colleagues over the years who have contemplated going through the process. The overall experience was relatively seamless for me physically (the hardest part was being home by 7PM for my shots!), and emotionally I felt empowered taking back some control over the dreaded "biological clock." 

Eliza: It was an expensive process, and I took it very seriously. I took off work (which ended up being unnecessary) and educated myself as much as possible. I was afraid of the shots at first, but got used to them quickly. The actual retrieval was a breeze, although I was constipated for a few days after!

Stephanie: I think it was definitely different than what the average egg retrieval experience is because I wasn't going into it with the emotional stress or anticipation of hoping for a child at the end. I already had two healthy children and knew I would likely have one more down the line, but I think I was aware that there wasn't as much wrapped up in for me as most people experience. Physically, it was tiring. I experienced all of the symptoms I had read about - bloating, mood swings, tiredness....It was a weird month to say the least, but it was easy to tolerate because I was confident the pay off would be there. That said, I think the fact that I already had two healthy children without any fertility challenges meant that I wasn't too worried about my egg production. I know that so many of my friends who had already gone through it had the added stress of knowing that they may not produce very many viable eggs. The retrieval itself wasn't bad, and after a day or two of rest, I felt pretty much like myself, although the bloating took a bit longer to subside. 

Did you end up needing to use the eggs to conceive? If not, what did you do with them?

Lauren: Yes! I used eggs from two different retrievals to create embryos for both of my extraordinary sons!

Michelle: I was very lucky to have conceived my son naturally at 39. I'm planning on trying to try for a second child, so I will save my eggs for that in case I need them. I'm so thankful to have that as an option!

Eliza: Yes – one of those embryos is my son!

Stephanie: The eggs are in storage as a backup plan if my sister needs them. Thankfully, it looks like they won't be needed, but until all of our families are complete, they'll hang out on ice.  

If you could go back in time, would you do it again? Why or why not?

Lauren: Absolutely 

Michelle: Absolutely would do it again. It was certainly a big investment but it was 100% worth it. I wish I could have done it a few years earlier, but I'm glad I did it when I did and that the public discourse around fertility has evolved over the years.  

Eliza: Had money not been an issue, I would have tried to freeze even more. I actually have a friend who did two rounds – one to freeze embryos and one to freeze eggs. If I could go back, that’s how I would have done it.  

Stephanie: I would do it a thousand times over. I would do anything to help my sister build a family, and knowing what the process is like, if I were in a position to consider freezing for myself (if my life story had played out on a different timeline) I would do it as well. It's a small price to pay for the peace of mind, if it's done as a preemptive measure, and an even smaller price to pay if it helps build your family.

What advice do you have for someone considering egg freezing?

Lauren: It changed my life and enabled me to become a mom on my own timeline. I would absolutely recommend it to any woman not yet in the right relationship!

Michelle: Sooner is better than later. If you think you might want to freeze your eggs, I’d go for it.

Eliza: I love the concept of Cofertility’s Split Program where you get to freeze your eggs for free in exchange for donating half of them! 

Stephanie: Get a good support system. It helps to have a friend or partner who will gladly give you a shot in the bathroom of a bar (yes, this happened!) or a coworker who cuts you a little slack for a few weeks, or sends food over the next day.  Find a clinic where you feel comfortable and cared for. Get a really comfy pair of sweatpants that you're cool wearing on repeat for a week. Remember that it is a limited time, it will be over soon, and it will be worth it.

Cofertility is in the “family” business, striving to make egg freezing and third-party reproduction more human-centered and accessible for all. Our Freeze by Co program allows you to freeze your eggs for free, when you give half to a family who can't otherwise conceive