The Ultimate Guide to the Split Program
Our Split program offers women the chance to freeze half their own eggs and donate the other half to a family who cannot conceive otherwise. If you’re eligible for the program, by meeting Cofertility’s requirements, and decide to donate half of your retrieved eggs, your egg freezing procedure, medications, and ten years of storage will be completely free of charge.
Freezing your eggs—and, potentially, donating some eggs—undoubtedly brings up lots of big questions that are important to talk about. Let’s dive into all the information you need to know about our Split program.
Where do my donated eggs go?
Many types of families need donated eggs to grow their family, including couples facing infertility, LGBTQ+ couples, cancer survivors, women with age-related fertility decline, and more. We welcome all intended parents to use our platform to find their match.
Who qualifies for the Split program?
While we’d love to have as many women join our Split program as possible, we do follow guidelines designed to protect the health and wellbeing of the donors and intended parents.
To qualify for the program, among other factors, you must:
- Have both ovaries
- Be between ages 21-33
- Have a BMI less than 29, due to limitations on medication administration and egg retrieval complexities
- Be physically and emotionally healthy with no genetic or reproductive disorders/abnormalities
- Be a non-smoker and abstain from recreational drugs or Depo Provera birth control
If you're currently pregnant or breastfeeding, you may still be eligible, but you'll have to wait until you have stopped breastfeeding and have had at least one menstrual cycle before you can begin your egg retrieval. Lastly, you must also be willing to provide a complete medical history about yourself and your biological family members, as they may have other disqualifying factors.
How does the process work?
We’re so glad you asked. Here’s a quick overview of how the application, matching and retrieval process works.
Take the quiz
To kick off the process, take our quiz and tell us a bit about yourself. This only takes about a minute and gives a sense of what programs you might be qualified for.
Submit your program application
Based on your quiz responses, if you’re eligible to move forward with applying for Split, you can complete the full program application at this time. This application determines if you qualify for the program, and helps create and personalize your profile so intended parents can get a feel for who you are and if you would be a good match for their family.
Call with our team
Once you pass this first phase, you’ll have a call with a Member Advocate to ensure you are ready for the process. You’ll get to ask any outstanding questions before your profile is shared with intended parents.
Once your profile is listed on the platform, intended parents will be able to determine whether you are the right match for their family. The timeline for this varies. But, know that you’ll always be able to switch into Cofertility’s Keep program if you decide you don’t want to wait any longer to freeze your own eggs.
Sign the Split program agreement
After you have your call with our team, we will send you an agreement to signify your intent to proceed with the Split program. Don’t worry, this agreement is non-binding up until the point at which you start your egg retrieval. The agreement is written in easy-to-understand language and we are here to answer any questions you have!
Complete initial testing (AMH)
After your program call and signing the agreement, you will complete a free AMH test, or Anti-Mullerian Hormone, at a local lab near you. Understanding your ovarian reserve through an AMH test is an important step for egg freezing and donation.
Fertility doctors typically consider an AMH level above 2.0 ng/ml as a good indicator for egg donation, and this is the benchmark used at Cofertility. That's because this level suggests that a Split member is likely to respond well to fertility treatments and produce a sufficient number of eggs for both donation and personal use. This allows us to proceed with your egg retrieval process in a manner that is both safe and effective. If your AMH falls under this level, our team is here to help you find the best path forward in your egg freezing journey.
Match with an intended parent
Your profile will be listed on our platform for intended parents to view. Once you’ve been matched with intended parents, you’ll have a dedicated Member Advocate to walk you through next steps - and they’ll be with you throughout the entire journey! You will have the option to meet the intended parents - either in person or via Zoom - before moving forward with your screenings.
You could match with intended parents quickly or it could take a while, but know that you’ll always be able to switch into our Keep program if you decide you don’t want to wait.
Complete further screening
Once you have officially matched with the intended parents, you’ll undergo a physical screening based on FDA, ASRM and industry guidelines. This will also include bloodwork and a (fairly painless) vaginal ultrasound to determine how many eggs you have in your ovarian reserve and if you would be a good fit for Split. Depending on where you and the intended parents’ are located, the testing may take place at a clinic near you or there some travel may be required. Our team will organize the travel and help make this easy for you.
Start your egg freezing cycle
If you get the green light and are accepted into Split, you’ll move onto the stimulation phase. This is the phase where you’ll take injectable medications to stimulate your ovaries to bring as many eggs to maturity as possible and get you ready for retrieval. This can sound scary, but we’ve got lots of helpful tutorials to walk you through it all. You’ll also be monitored by a local fertility clinic throughout the process to check on how things are progressing. This full stimulation period usually takes 10-14 days.
Retrieve your eggs
Once your eggs have reached the point of peak maturity and they’re ready to be retrieved, you’ll head back to the clinic for this procedure. This outpatient procedure takes about 30 minutes, and you’ll be under light anesthesia. The doctor will use a vaginal ultrasound to remove the eggs.
Immediately upon retrieval, half the retrieved eggs will be frozen and stored for you for free for 10 years. You can access those eggs at any time and have them shipped to the fertility clinic of your choosing should you need them. The other half of the retrieved eggs will go to the intended parents and can be fertilized with the intended parents’ sperm of choice.
In the event that an odd number of eggs is retrieved, the “additional” egg will go to the intended parents.
Depending on the number of eggs you’re able to retrieve in the first cycle, you can decide if you want to complete a second cycle so that you can donate again or have more eggs to keep for your future use.
For women under 35, studies show that the average number of eggs retrieved is 18-21, a number that is tightly correlated with AMH (anti-mullerian hormone) levels—which are tested as part of the screening process. The same studies show that freezing just nine eggs gave those women a 70% chance at a live birth.
What will I know about potential genetic offspring and what will they know about me?
In the case a donor-conceived child experiences a serious medical condition, you may need to provide medical information to us, the fertility clinic, or the intended parents. Also, if new information comes up about your medical history, we’ll need you to let us know. The intended parents are required to do the same. This is in everyone’s best interest so everyone can be made aware of unknown medical conditions which can occur.
That being said, when you apply, you’ll have the choice to indicate a desire for Disclosed or Undisclosed donation.
- Disclosed: You meet the family (virtually or by phone is fine) before proceeding with the match. The level of relationship after the match is what both parties make of it.
- Undisclosed: You match with a family without meeting them, and only communicate via Cofertility. No contact info is exchanged. Note that if both parties are interested, we can facilitate a phone or video meeting in which you can speak without sharing names.
Note that with today’s widely available genetic tests, it is extremely difficult to guarantee anonymity. There have also been changes in some state laws that give donor-conceived children more access to information about their donors, meaning it’s possible that identity and shared genetics may be discovered or made more broadly available by law even if you chose to be Undisclosed.
Overall, we take a human-based approach. Based on psychological wellbeing research, we encourage families to be open to their children about their conception story and donor-conceived roots. As donor-conceived children grow up, they may be curious about their genetics and want to reach out with their own questions. This is something to consider prior to moving forward with the Split program.
Summing it up
We know, first-hand, that freezing your eggs—especially when donating half—is a big decision that isn’t to be taken lightly. Our hope is that this overview (along with tons more helpful material along the way!) provides a solid foundation about our Split program so you can feel totally confident in navigating whether joining Split is right for you.
I'm Afraid of Needles; Can I Still Freeze My Eggs?
The ability to freeze human eggs has been a major breakthrough in reproductive technology. It has empowered egg freezers with the option to delay childbearing, preserve their fertility in the face of medical conditions or treatments, and allow them to focus on their careers or personal goals without feeling so much of the pressure of the "biological clock."
At Cofertility, we help people navigate egg freezing and make it more affordable (even free if you qualify for our Split program). But if you’re afraid of needles, you may wonder if you can handle the egg freezing process. The short answer is yes, but it's important to understand the process and what to expect. As someone who personally overcame a fear of needles to undergo several egg retrievals, I hope to provide some insight and tips to help you feel more at ease.
If you’re afraid of needles, you’re not alone!
If you have a fear of needles, know that you aren’t alone. In fact, 1 in 4 adults have strong fears around needles! The difference between a fear and a phobia is that phobias are considered unfounded fears when you are not actually in danger. Phobias are harder to control and need more work to overcome.
Fears and phobias can vary from mild to severe – and it’s good to take stock of where you fall on that spectrum. Regardless, there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
Needle phobia and egg freezing: can you freeze eggs without shots and blood draws?
Unfortunately, there is currently no way to freeze your eggs without needles (calling all scientists: if you invent a way to make this possible, it will be game changing!). This is because the process of egg freezing involves stimulating the ovaries with hormones (aka fertility medication) to produce multiple eggs, which are then retrieved with a needle while under anesthesia. There are also blood draws to determine your hormone levels, and an IV for sedation during the retrieval itself. So, unfortunately, shots and blood draws are a necessary part of the process.
How do I get over my fear of egg freezing needles?
If you are afraid of needles, it's important to acknowledge your fear and work through it. Ignoring or avoiding the issue will only make it worse. Here are some strategies that may help you overcome your fear:
- Education: Learn as much as you can about the egg freezing process. Knowing what to expect can make it less scary. Talk to others who have gone through the process.
- Exposure therapy: Exposure therapy is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which consists of directly facing the object (needles) that causes you fear. You would work with a therapist through graduated exposure until you are no longer fearful.
- Deep breathing: Practice deep breathing exercises to help you relax.
- Visualization: Visualize yourself going through the process successfully and feeling proud of yourself for facing your fear.
- Distraction: Listen to music, watch puppy videos, or chat with the nurse to take your mind off the injections. The good news is that they are quick!
Talking to your egg freezing doctor about your needle phobia
Talking to your doctor or nurse coordinator about your needle phobia is an important step in managing your fear and making the egg freezing process more manageable. When discussing your phobia with your doctor, be open and honest. Remember that there is no shame, and that your doctor has worked with many patients like you!
Explain your fear and how it affects you, and don't be afraid to ask questions. Your doctor can provide you with information and support to help you feel more comfortable during the process. Together, you can work out a plan to manage your fear and find ways to make the injections less intimidating. Remember, your doctor is there to help you, and communication is key to a successful egg freezing experience.
How many injections are needed for egg freezing?
The number of injections required for egg freezing can vary depending on the individual and the specific protocol used, but typically ranges from one to three injections per day for the duration of the stimulation which is typically between 10-12 days. Your doctor will monitor your progress and adjust the dosage as needed.
How many blood draws are needed for egg freezing?
You will likely need several blood draws during your egg freezing journey to see how your hormones are responding. Blood draws, also known as venipuncture or phlebotomy, is a procedure in which blood is taken from a vein in your arm for laboratory testing.
Inform the technician about your needle phobia, as they may be able to use a smaller needle or a different technique to minimize pain. And if you are prone to experiencing lightheadedness when getting your blood drawn, make sure to let your technician know. Asking if they can do the blood draw while you’re laying down rather than sitting up can make a huge difference!
Insider tricks: reducing pain during egg freezing shots
While egg freezing injections can be uncomfortable, I found the shots to not be as bad as I thought they would be. Plus, they go by very quickly. Here are strategies you can try to make them easier and less painful:
- Numbing cream. Use a numbing cream on the injection site before the shot can help reduce discomfort (get your doctor’s approval before doing this).
- Buzzy Bee. I learned about the Buzzy Bee on Shark Tank, and it actually worked for me! The combination of vibration and ice pain-blocking methods is actually FDA 510(k) for pain control.
- Phone a friend. Try having someone else administer the shot while you distract yourself. My husband was my shot-giver, and he did a way better job than I could have!
- Warm shower. Take a warm shower before the injection can help relax your muscles, making it easier for the needle to be inserted.
- Deep breathing. Practice deep breathing or relaxation techniques. Focusing on your breath and practicing mindfulness can help to distract you from the pain and reduce your perception of it.
- A treat. Set aside a treat for the end, as your reward for being brave! For me, it was chocolate and TV.
If you're still experiencing significant pain, talk to your doctor. They may be able to prescribe pain medication or suggest other strategies to make the injections more manageable.
Are there different types of needles that are easier to administer or less painful?
There are different types of needles that can be used for injections based on each medication, but the type used for egg freezing is typically a small, thin needle that is relatively painless. If you are concerned about pain from needles, talk to your doctor about any alternative options.
The benefits of facing your fear of needles and freezing your eggs
Freezing your eggs can be an empowering way to take control of your fertility, but it can be daunting if you have a fear of needles. While the process does involve injections, there are strategies you can use to manage your fear and make the experience more comfortable. Educate yourself about the process, practice relaxation techniques, and communicate with your doctor to find the best approach for you. By focusing on the big picture of future fertility and celebrating your courage, you can empower yourself to face your fears and take control of your reproductive health.
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.
Cofertility Egg Freezing Reviews
As if choosing to freeze or donate your eggs isn’t a big enough decision — now it’s time to choose who you’re going to work with to do it. With a seemingly endless number of fertility clinics, agencies, and egg banks to choose from (some with more questionable marketing tactics than others), we know how daunting this decision can feel. We’re firm believers in the power of community and know that the best way to make a decision as big as this one is to hear firsthand from other people who have gone through the process themselves. We asked some of our Split members and intended parents about why they chose Cofertility and their experiences so far. Keep reading to see what they had to say.
"Physicians are often forced to sacrifice their most fertile years for their training, and that becomes such a huge source of anxiety for so many female doctors.
This is an opportunity to preserve some of your fertility while doing something amazing for another family." - Christina, Split member
“Something that has held me back from starting a family is financial limitations. However, if I could give someone the opportunity while I pursue my career in hopes of becoming financially unlimited, that would be amazing. ” - Nancy, Split member
"As a fourth year med student, I'm at a stage in my life where having a family isn't really an option and it won't be for 5-10 years. This idea is just beautiful. I can't believe we didn't figure something like this out sooner." - Emily, Split member
“I am incredibly independent and feel that I want to best prepare myself to have options in the future if I have a child on my own or with a partner, that I can ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy in my future when I choose to do so. Entering my late 20s, I have seen more and more of my friends struggle with fertility issues and how incredibly difficult that process is. As a long time nanny, there's nothing more that makes me happy than knowing how love a child can be, so why not be part of that journey!” Claire, Split member
Hear from some of our matched Split members
“Once I met the prospective parents, it was clear they selected me more for my personality than any physical attributes. Overall, I’ve felt like I’m valued as a complete person, not just for my eggs—and they’re so happy to help me on my fertility journey as well.” - Kristen, Split member.”
“[It was important to me to match with a couple] where at least one person was African American. I was also drawn to helping another queer couple in this process. Fortunately, there’s a lot of autonomy and flexibility in terms of what this [journey] looks like for each person.” - Arianna, Split member
Hear from Intended Parents
“We feel so lucky to have come across Cofertility as we’re making the most important decision of our life. They’ve taken what’s become a depersonalized journey and made it into something deeply emotional. They take the time to get to know Intended Parents and Split Members to make sure it’s a perfectly aligned match all around." - Mark & Chirag, Cofertility intended parents
Start your egg freezing journey with Cofertility
Working with Cofertility means working with a platform that honors donors, intended parents, and donor-conceived people alike. We’re here to make your egg freezing journey the human-centered, accessible, and just plain better experience that you deserve with our two unique programs.
With our Split program, members who qualify based on clinic criteria can freeze their eggs entirely for free when they donate half to a family that can’t otherwise conceive.
Through our Keep program, members self-fund their egg freezing journey and keep the entire egg yield for themselves, with discounts and support from our team every step of the way.
With both programs, members also get exclusive access to our members-only community, where they can connect with others going through the egg freezing and donation processes at the same time and lean on each other for support and encouragement.
To see which programs you qualify for and start your journey today, click the link below to take our free, two-minute quiz.
When to Test Your Fertility
I was 28 when I first started trying to conceive. I vividly remember taking my last birth control pill, throwing out my pack, and texting my friend to tell her we were no longer “not trying,” excited but nervous. Sounds pretty standard, right? Unfortunately, what I didn’t know at the time was that I was about to embark on a two-and-a-half-year journey to get pregnant with my son. This included several pregnancy losses, a few rounds of IVF, and lots of questions, including, “should I have tested my fertility sooner?”.
I don’t share this to scare anyone. But my story is not all that uncommon. In fact, 1 in 6 individuals experience some form of fertility challenge.
I was woefully unprepared. And because of this lack of preparedness by Sex Ed as well as limited time with my OBGYN, it probably took a good six months before I started to understand what actually goes into conceiving a healthy pregnancy: timing, lifestyle, genetics, and more. So much of my time, stress, and probably money could have been saved by proactive fertility testing.
In this article, we’ll discuss when to test your fertility, the importance of early fertility awareness, and proactive measures you can take to understand it. If you take one thing away from this article, though — the best time to test your fertility is right now. Let’s talk about why.
So what is fertility testing, anyway?
Before we dive into when to test your fertility, it’s important to understand what fertility testing even is.
A fundamental concept of assessing one’s fertility is to understand their ovarian reserve. This involves evaluating the quantity of a woman's remaining egg supply (oocytes) in her ovaries. One of the most widely used tests for ovarian reserve (though not without its limitations — more on that below) is the measurement of Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) levels, which can be done with a simple blood test.
AMH is a protein produced by cells in the ovarian follicles, with levels of AMH in your blood providing an indication of the number of eggs remaining in your ovaries. If you’re considering egg freezing, AMH testing is especially valuable, as it helps assess your starting point and may indicate a timeline of how urgently you may want to move forward with freezing your eggs.
Your AMH may also give a sense of how your ovaries might respond to the actual egg freezing process. Lower AMH levels typically suggest a diminished ovarian reserve, which may impact fertility potential. In general, an AMH between 1.0 - 3.5 ng/mL is considered a “normal” range.
Individuals with a higher AMH level — which varies by lab, but could be anywhere over 3.0 ng/ml — usually have a better response to ovarian stimulation, leading to a higher number of eggs likely to be retrieved during the procedure. That said, a higher AMH also carries a greater risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), so your doctor will need to be careful with your medication protocol and monitoring.
Should I test my fertility at home or in a clinic?
At-home fertility tests have gained popularity in recent years due to their convenience and privacy. These tests typically involve collecting blood or urine samples and mailing them to a laboratory for analysis. On the other hand, in-clinic fertility tests are conducted at a medical facility, where specialized equipment and healthcare professionals are available.
The pros of at-home fertility tests
- Convenience and privacy: Samples can be collected in the comfort of your home.
- Cost-effective: At-home tests are often more affordable than in-clinic procedures.
- Early assessment: At-home tests allow you to gain insights into your fertility potential before actively trying to conceive. Plus, you won’t have to wait to get squeezed in for an appointment at the clinic!
The pros of testing your fertility at a clinic
- A broader scope: At-home tests may not provide a comprehensive evaluation of fertility health, while testing your fertility at a clinic provides a more comprehensive picture of your fertility. An important note is, when testing your fertility at a clinic, you’ll also undergo a transvaginal ultrasound, where the technician or doctor will be able to get a view of what’s going on in those ovaries and the number of follicles available this cycle.
- Better accuracy: Some at-home tests may have varying levels of accuracy when compared to in-clinic tests.
- Face time: At a clinic, you’ll have the ability to chat directly with a doctor, before and after your results.
When should I test my fertility?
So, when is the “right” age for testing your fertility, anyway?
And ultimately, it’s up to you! It’s your body, and your data, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. We’re firm believers that knowledge is power and you deserve this information. Studies do show that our ovarian reserve declines with age — in other words, it’s a good idea to assess your fertility potential sooner rather than later. That way, if you do want to preventatively freeze your eggs, you can do so while your ovarian reserve is still higher.
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the optimal time to freeze your eggs is in your 20s and early 30s. And this study indicated that, as we get older, our chances increase of needing to do multiple egg freezing cycles in order to achieve a 70% live birth rate. We know we’re a bit of a broken record here, but: the younger you are, the healthier and more plentiful your eggs are.
Consider your egg freezing plans
Because the ASRM doesn’t recommend egg freezing for people older than 38 (although this is not a hard and fast rule), it’s a good idea to test your fertility earlier on if possible. That way, should you decide to move forward with egg freezing, you’ll have the time and space to come up with a plan and hopefully see some successful results.
If and when you decide to move forward with egg freezing, you can freeze your eggs more affordably (even for free!) with Cofertility. Fill out this quick quiz to learn about our accessible egg freezing options and see if you qualify for our programs — it only takes one minute.
Should I test my fertility in my 20s?
Testing your fertility in your 20s gives you the most flexibility. Whether your testing looks great and you want to freeze your eggs now, or you uncover potential fertility risks to address, the more time you have, the better.
Your doctor may even recommend fertility testing if you have past or current reproductive health issues, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs), endometriosis, or PCOS, all of which can contribute to fertility challenges. Even if you’re not yet sure if you want to start a family in the future, testing your fertility in your 20s may help you make informed decisions about family planning options down the line.
Best at-home fertility tests
If you’re curious to learn more about your ovarian reserve, talk to your doctor about fertility testing. If your doctor won’t order the tests…you might want to find a new one who listens to your concerns and takes them seriously. But in the meantime, there are many great at-home fertility testing options out there.
Hormones measured: AMH
Why we like it: While it only tests one hormone, the test is simple and fast. It’s also the least expensive of the three, plus you can get 25% off with code COFERTILITY25.
Hormones measured: estradiol, LH, FSH, TSH, and total testosterone
Why we like it: Natalist provides comprehensive insights into ovarian reserve, empowering individuals to assess their fertility potential in the comfort of their own homes. Plus, it’s a woman-owned and woman-run company. Use Cofertility20 for 20% off your entire purchase.
Hormones measured: AMH, TSH, FSH, estradiol, prolactin, fT4, and LH
Why we like it: Modern Fertility offers a comprehensive panel of hormone tests, providing valuable insights into ovarian reserve, with a super sleek app. The test results are accompanied by personalized reports and expert guidance to help individuals understand their fertility potential.
Remember: at-home fertility tests aren’t without limitations
Although at-home fertility tests are a great way to get a peek behind the curtain of your fertility, they aren’t without limitations. For starters, according to recent studies, measuring AMH alone may not predict your time to pregnancy. As mentioned above, testing your fertility with a doctor at a clinic will likely provide a more comprehensive picture of your fertility outlook, especially as they consider your medical history, and conduct a physical exam and transvaginal ultrasound. Of course, you’ll also get professional interpretation of the results that you may not receive with an at-home fertility test.
All of that being said, any fertility testing (whether at home or in a clinic) only measures your fertility at that given point in time. It should not be taken as a guarantee for future outcomes. It also can’t tell you anything about your egg quality, which cannot be truly observed until it comes time to actually fertilize those eggs.
Consider egg freezing as a proactive measure
After testing your ovarian reserve, it’s worth considering freezing your eggs if you don’t want kids soon. We’ll be the first to say that egg freezing is not a guarantee for a successful pregnancy in the future — those eggs need to be fertilized into embryos, transferred to a uterus, and then carried for 40 weeks to result in a live birth! But because our fertility declines with age, the earlier we preserve it, the more set up for success we may be in the future if we do need to use those eggs down the line.
How does egg freezing work?
As a primer, egg freezing allows individuals to preserve their fertility by freezing and storing their eggs for future use (fertilization). Let’s get into some of the specifics.
Some benefits of egg freezing
There are many reasons why egg freezing can be beneficial, including:
Delaying parenthood: Egg freezing enables individuals to postpone childbearing to pursue educational, career, or personal goals while increasing their chances of having a healthy pregnancy down the line.
Medical reasons: Some medical treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation, can impact fertility. Egg freezing offers a proactive option for individuals facing medical conditions that may affect their reproductive health.
Preserve higher quality eggs: As we age, our ovarian reserve diminishes, and the quality of our eggs declines. By freezing eggs at a younger age, individuals can preserve their eggs when they are of higher quality.
The egg freezing process
Overall, the egg freezing process is a 10-14 day period involving ovarian stimulation, the actual egg retrieval, and storing the frozen eggs. Here’s what goes into each.
Ovarian stimulation: Before the egg retrieval, individuals typically take injectable hormone medications for about 10-14 days. This process encourages the ovaries to produce multiple mature eggs. You’ll head to the clinic for monitoring every few days (more frequently as you get closer to your retrieval) so your doctor can check on how things are progressing and make updates to your medication protocol if needed.
The egg retrieval: Once the eggs are mature, a minimally invasive procedure known as transvaginal ultrasound-guided aspiration is performed to retrieve the eggs from the ovaries. The procedure is usually well-tolerated and does not require a surgical incision.
Cryopreservation: After retrieval, the eggs are frozen using a process called vitrification. This method prevents the formation of ice crystals, which could damage the eggs during freezing. You’ll store your eggs in a special storage facility meant for just that.
For an in-depth overview of the egg freezing process, click here.
Success rates of egg freezing
The success of egg freezing largely depends on the age at which the eggs are frozen. Generally, eggs frozen at a younger age have a higher chance of resulting in a successful pregnancy. Advanced vitrification techniques have significantly improved egg freezing success rates, with some studies reporting comparable pregnancy rates between fresh and frozen-thawed eggs.
One study of 1,241 women found that the average number of eggs retrieved on the first egg freezing round was:
- 21 eggs for women under 35
- 17 eggs for women 35-37
- 14 eggs for women 38-40
But, in addition to egg quantity, we also need to consider egg thaw survival rate, and the rate at which these eggs become embryos and result in a live birth. According to a study in the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, a woman under 35 will need 9 eggs to achieve a 70% chance of having at least one live birth. If you’re trying to conceive in your mid to late 30s, you may need double as many eggs to achieve that same 70% success rate.
Not only will freezing your eggs proactively give you the options of utilizing higher quality eggs in the future, it also helps alleviate the pressure of finding a reproductive partner, and can allow us to feel empowered to make family planning decisions on our own terms without any compromises. Taking a proactive approach to fertility preservation can provide the freedom to pursue opportunities without sacrificing the dream of having a family when the time is right.
Freezing your eggs with Cofertility
With Freeze by Co, you have the opportunity to apply to our Split program, where you can freeze your eggs for free when you donate half of the retrieved eggs to a family that can’t otherwise conceive. The cost of the entire process, including 10 years of cryopreservation, is fully covered.
Or, if you want to freeze and store your eggs for your own future use without donating, as part of our Keep program, we offer lower prices on things like consultations and storage, along with access to our community of others going through the process at the same time. Plus, you’ll have direct access to our team, which is here to support you throughout the entire journey.
Summing it up
If you’re considering testing your fertility, the best age to do it is now. Whether you test yourself at home, or with a doctor at a fertility clinic, testing your fertility can provide valuable insights into what your family-building future may look like. It might also uncover the need for egg freezing in order to preserve some of your existing fertility as it stands today. But whatever you decide to do with the results, you’ll at least be armed with more information about yourself than you would have had otherwise.
Simmone Taitt on Egg Freezing Journey after an Endometriosis Diagnosis
Simmone Taitt, Founder and CEO of Poppyseed Health, is no stranger to reproductive health. In an interview with Cofertility, Simmone opens up about her embryo freezing experience. She shares her motivations, challenges, and the rewards she discovered along the way, providing invaluable insights for those considering this transformative path.
Eggs vs embryos
"I decided to create embryos with my partner because I was undergoing surgery for stage four endometriosis," Simmone explains. "There was a chance that I was going to lose one of my ovaries, and we wanted to preserve our options as much as possible while also addressing the endo." Unfortunately, she did lose her left ovary and fallopian tube, making the decision to create embryos even more significant.
Simmone froze her eggs at the age of 37, retrieving a total of 11 eggs. "I was 37 years old when I retrieved my eggs and we got 11 eggs," she shares. "The ovary that I ended up losing only produced 2 eggs while the other produced 9 eggs." Despite the challenges she faced, Simmone's determination remained unwavering.
Reflections on the process
Reflecting on the egg freezing process, Simmone shares, "The process was way more time consuming than I anticipated." She explains the rigorous routine of blood tests every other day for nearly two weeks and intravaginal sonograms during every visit. Simmone's experience was further complicated by the side effects of the stimulation medication due to her endometriosis. "It was tough on my body. I gained 10 pounds during the stimulation period and was very bloated," she reveals. However, the reward of creating embryos outweighed the difficulties she encountered.
For Simmone, the hardest part of the process came after the retrieval. "About four weeks after my first embryo transfer, I ended up in the hospital with a swollen arm," she recalls. "It turned out that I had a deep vein thrombosis (DVT)." This setback disrupted her plans for additional embryo transfers. Despite the challenges, Simmone's spirit remains unbroken.
Picking a fertility clinic
When it came to choosing a fertility clinic and medical professional, Simmone had specific criteria in mind. "I specifically wanted an REI who had experience with medically complex patients with inflammatory diseases," she explains. After consulting with various specialists, Simmone selected an REI whom she felt comfortable and safe with. Although her own journey has not resulted in a successful pregnancy (yet), she referred two friends to the same REI, both of whom had successful first transfers and babies. Simmone emphasizes that each person's body is different and outcomes aren't guaranteed.
Simmone acknowledges the impact of the egg freezing process on her personal and professional life. "Thankfully, I was able to go in for my monitoring hours first thing in the morning, which was the most convenient for my schedule," she shares. However, she also highlights the significant cost involved. "The cost is astronomical," she reveals. While her partner's company covered one round of egg retrievals, Simmone and her partner had to use their savings, around $5,000 to $6,000, to cover the expenses of medication and other aspects of the cycle.
The emotional and psychological aspects of egg freezing
Managing the emotional and psychological aspects of egg freezing presented its own challenges for Simmone. "I had a lot of friends who [have done IVF]. The process is similar, so I had a lot of knowledge going into it, but it was still emotionally tough for me," she admits. Simmone relied on her partner, family, and friends for support. The hormonal effects of the medications heightened her emotions and made her feel tender and vulnerable during that time.
Looking back on her egg freezing experience, Simmone reflects on the need for better awareness of the possible side effects. "I think we commercialize the egg freezing process and IVF to be 'easy' and 'accessible' and 'simple'," she states. Simmone wishes she had been more informed about the potential challenges involved and emphasizes the importance of a realistic understanding of the procedures.
Advice for others
Offering advice to those considering freezing their eggs, Simmone encourages open conversation and seeking support. "It's important to talk to people who have been through the process and get the real stories," she suggests. Simmone emphasizes the deeply personal nature of the decision and underscores the need for support, guidance, and empathy throughout the journey.
Simmone Taitt's story is one of resilience, hope, and empowerment. Her decision to freeze her eggs was driven by a desire to preserve her fertility amidst health challenges. Despite the obstacles she faced, Simmone's unwavering spirit and determination propelled her forward. Her experience serves as a reminder that while the road may be challenging, there is strength in preserving options and embracing the possibilities that lie ahead.
The Fearless Journey: Missy Modell on Freezing Her Eggs
Missy Modell is no stranger to breaking boundaries. A fierce advocate for women's rights and an inspiring artist, she is open and honest about her own experiences. In a candid interview with us, Missy shares her journey of freezing her eggs, a deeply personal and empowering decision that reflects the challenges and choices women face today.
From doubt to decision
"I was really against egg freezing at first!" Missy shared. But her initial resistance gave way to reflection and realization. "Ultimately, I decided that at this very moment in my life and career, I am not ready to have children but I do know that I want them at some point."
The process: challenges and triumphs
Missy started the process at 35, but got scared and held off for a year. She finally began a year later, but observed significant changes in her body during that year, as her AMH dropped from 2.5 to 1.5, a realization that underscored the urgency of her decision. "I knew that if I was going to do it, now was the time!" she told us.
They ultimately retrieved 13 eggs and were able to freeze 10. Missy's reflections resonate with empowerment and gratitude. The rewards were not just in the outcomes but in the newfound connection with her body and a sense of autonomy and control over her future. Her journey is a testament to resilience, self-awareness, and the power of informed and thoughtful decision-making.
On the complexities of the egg freezing process, Missy shared, "The hardest part was honestly the aftermath. I had a sense of doom and depressed feelings that lasted a few weeks."
But her journey wasn't without triumphs. "The thing that worried me most was being under anesthesia for the retrieval, but that ended up being one of the seamless parts of the whole experience! I felt so safe," she revealed.
Reflections and looking ahead
"I honestly can’t believe I did it! I am really proud of myself and very happy with my decision," Missy said, looking back on the experience. Her relationship with her body changed profoundly as well: "The entire journey made me feel so connected to my body, my cycle, and other women who have also undergone fertility treatment."
"The entire journey made me feel so connected to my body, my cycle, and other women who have also undergone fertility treatment."
This connection, born from a deeply personal experience, transcends the medical procedure itself. It's a testament to a shared understanding and empathy among women who have faced similar decisions. Missy's story isn't just about the choices she made for her future; it's a unifying narrative that resonates with countless women navigating their reproductive journeys, forging bonds of strength, compassion, and courage.
Advice for others
Missy's advice for others is rich in empathy and wisdom. "Freezing your eggs is not a failure. It took me so long to get past the shame of it all but I quickly learned that it’s an incredibly kind thing to do for yourself." She also stresses the importance of self-care, advising, "Be compassionate and kind to yourself. This is a very emotional process that brings up a LOT. Focus on the gratitude for being able to go through this process in the first place and how good you will feel when it’s done!"
Freezing your eggs is not a failure. It took me so long to get past the shame of it all but I quickly learned that it’s an incredibly kind thing to do for yourself.
Missy Modell's candid and heartfelt sharing paints a vivid picture of a journey filled with challenges, resilience, and empowerment. Her experience, in her own words, showcases a deeply personal aspect of women's health that often goes unspoken. Missy's story is more than just about egg freezing; it's a celebration of female strength, autonomy, and the embracing of life's possibilities. Her reflection rings loud and clear: "Women are truly fearless," and her own story stands as a testament to that truth.
Aagya Mathur on Egg Freezing While Startup Building
As the Co-Founder and CEO of Aavia, an app designed to connect the dots between ovarian hormone health and women's daily lives, Aagya Mathur stands as an icon in women’s health. Recognized by Forbes as one of the top women leading startups that are disrupting health tech, she's not only shaping the industry but also influencing individual lives through her personal choices and advocacy.
Aagya's background in Neuroscience from the University of Virginia, combined with her MBA from MIT Sloan, has laid the foundation for her innovative work. Her past experience in management consulting across healthcare and retail clients further shaped her understanding of women's needs and inspired her to take a proactive approach to family planning.
We got the chance to interview her about her egg freezing experience, so let’s dive in.
The decision to freeze
"I am lucky to have many older sister figures," Aagya explained, describing the influence of family and friends' experiences on her decision to freeze her eggs. She continued, "Their willingness to be vulnerable and share really opened my eyes to potential hardships. I remember one who explicitly told me – I wish I knew that freezing my eggs was an option when I was younger and that I did it."
At 32, Aagya sought her parents' thoughts and support, forging ahead with a process she knew was right for her. The personal stories and her background in the women's health space empowered her to make an informed decision.
The process: challenges and rewards
Aagya's journey involved meticulous planning and temporary lifestyle changes. She revealed, "I didn’t travel or go out late too much for about a month, and my friends and family showed up for me throughout the process."
Those moments of support became memorable, with friends and family members showing their support: “It was really special that each night someone would show up for me whether going to go get our nails done or ordering Italian and sitting on my couch.”
They successfully retrieved a number of eggs which are now safely frozen in long-term storage.The hardest part, she recalled, was "Feeling very heavy before the procedure! But it wasn’t too bad."
The first injection was the hardest
A common fear among many who embark on the journey of egg freezing is the shots. Aagya, despite having taken the MCAT and shadowing doctors before deciding not to pursue medical school, shared this apprehension.
"I was most nervous for the first injection!" Aagya recounted. The idea of injecting herself was unsettling and a significant obstacle she had to overcome. But ultimately, she wanted it more than she was afraid of it.
With trepidation, she administered that first shot, and much to her relief, discovered that her fears were unfounded. "After administering the first shot, it was a breeze! You can't even feel the needle," she exclaimed.
Her experience with the first injection is a metaphor for the entire egg freezing process and, perhaps, for life's challenges in general. Often, the anticipation of an event can be far more intimidating than the actual experience. Once Aagya faced her fear head-on, she found the rest of the process relatively smooth.
Impact on personal and professional life
The timing of the procedure pushed Aagya's plans by a few months, but the experience also illuminated the compassion of her investors. She said, "I was closing a round of funding, and actually it helped bring light to investors who cared for their founders." One investor even sent her a silk eye mask to help with the recovery process after the procedure.
Aagya was dating someone during this whole process, who is now a long-term boyfriend. “I was dating someone at the time and I didn’t expect it to be such a weird topic to discuss. I think we need to keep de-stigmatizing this. I wasn’t planning a family with him - I was just planning.”
“I wasn’t planning a family with him - I was just planning”
Aagya's entrepreneurial spirit, combined with her unswerving commitment to empowering women, shines through her personal and professional choices. Her decision to freeze her eggs aligns perfectly with her mission to provide women with the tools and information they need to take control of their health and lives.
Looking back and advice for others
Reflecting on the experience, Aagya expressed no regrets: "I am really glad I did it!" Her advice to others considering egg freezing is resolute: "If you’re considering it, take the leap! Even if it’s just as an insurance for a second kid, if you choose to have kids at all."
Her story, woven with insights, courage, and empathy, contributes to the broader narrative of women's reproductive health. Aagya’s contributions to women’s health, her leadership, and her personal journey serve as an inspiration to many, underscoring the importance of empowerment, awareness, and self-care in our lives. Her work with Aavia continues to break barriers and establish connections, highlighting the essential dialogue between health, technology, and personal empowerment.
Learn more about egg freezing:
Amanda Goetz on Egg Freezing After Divorce
Amanda Goetz, marketing genius and the founder of House of Wise (which was successfully sold) has an inspiring career background that includes five years at The Knot Worldwide as Vice President of Marketing. But aside from her professional accomplishments, Amanda's personal life and decisions make her story even more compelling. Recently, she shared her journey of freezing her eggs with us, a decision made during a tumultuous period in her life.
Egg freezing amidst chaos
Amanda's decision to freeze her eggs came at a crucial time when her life was already filled with change and uncertainty. Following a divorce at the age of 32, with three children under age four, Amanda recognized that her present self was not equipped to make permanent decisions about her future family planning.
"We retrieved 19 eggs at age 32," Amanda recalled. Though she already had three children, Amanda chose to freeze eggs, not embryos, as she was still casually dating and wasn't in the right headspace post-divorce to make this decision with a partner.
Facing challenges head-on, like everything else in her life
Amanda's egg freezing journey was not without its hurdles. Her process coincided with the global COVID lockdown, and she was inundated with hormones just as the world seemed to be ending. The societal challenges were significant, too, with questions about why she was freezing her eggs when she already had three children. Amanda's honest response reflected her wisdom: "I just knew that current Amanda wasn't in a place to make decisions for future Amanda, and I wanted to retrieve eggs as young as possible."
The downsides? Amanda faced discomfort, weight gain, and a disruption in her workout routine, leaving her feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Navigating relationships during this period proved challenging as well, with a significant other becoming too freaked out to be around, leaving her feeling alone.
Thankfully, support came in unexpected ways, including a newfound friend on Twitter who was undergoing the same process. She also credits her therapist who helped her through the process, and a best friend who was there to pick her up after the retrieval. “A support system is key”.
Reflection and advice
Looking back on her experience, Amanda is confident she made the right decision. She emphasizes that egg freezing is not a foolproof insurance policy, and she wishes she had known more about the survival rates and the likelihood of pregnancy using the frozen eggs.
Her advice to others considering this path is insightful and practical. "It is not a full-proof insurance policy. I think I would have approached it differently if I didn't have children. I would have done multiple rounds and froze several embryos with a donor for extra safety."
Amanda's story is still unfolding, with her frozen eggs still being kept and a decision planned within the next five years.
Amanda’s experience with egg freezing is something we often see, one filled with emotions, insights, and hard-won wisdom. Her journey contributes to the vital conversation about family building and choice, helping to remove stigma and encourage a more nuanced understanding of this complex decision-making process.
Her voice stands as a testament to the strength, adaptability, and wisdom that many women must summon as they navigate their unique paths to family planning, even if it happens in different life eras. Her message is clear: planning for the future requires understanding, compassion, and the courage to embrace uncertainty.
Learn more about egg freezing:
How Rachel Liverman Crane Overcame Medical Anxiety to Freeze Her Eggs
Rachel Liverman Crane is the Founder & CEO of the East Coast skincare facial concept Glow Bar. Yet, her dynamic life doesn't end with her professional achievements; she's also taken a bold step in her personal life by freezing her eggs — a journey made even more remarkable by overcoming medical anxiety, a common fear that affects many people facing medical procedures.
Medical anxiety is more than a fleeting concern; it's a genuine fear that can hinder individuals from pursuing necessary or elective medical treatments. In Rachel's case, it was a hurdle she had to conquer on her path to securing future family planning options.
Her journey reflects a blend of determination, pragmatism, and an unwavering belief in one's self, sending a strong message to others about the power of informed choices and the beauty of self-confidence. By bravely facing her fears, Rachel serves as an inspiration to others who may be on the fence about egg freezing. Whether it's expanding a skincare brand or planning for a future family, she navigates life with grace, wisdom, and a touch of humor, embodying the future's endless possibilities.
In a candid interview with us, Rachel shares this journey, opening up about her experience with egg freezing and how she overcame the anxiety that often accompanies medical decisions.
Deciding to freeze
At the age of 35, while single and deeply focused on growing her business, Rachel made the decision to freeze her eggs. Recognizing that she wouldn't be having children in the immediate future, she saw this as a way to retain her focus on her career without the looming pressure of biological timing. "I figured I would freeze my eggs so my focus could remain on my career and not have the pressure of having kids feel so strong."
The process resulted in a "lucky dozen" of 12 eggs, with nine being frozen. Her AMH was 1.81, and she candidly shares her experience, describing herself as an "open book."
Embracing the process even with medical anxiety
“But in the end”, she says, “it was so simple and my doctor and his team took such great care of me the entire way.”
Having seen friends go through it, she knew what to expect, although the physical discomfort and bloating after retrieval did surprise her. “The thing that surprised me the most was how bloated and uncomfortable that would feel after the retrieval process.”
What stands out, however, is the empowerment and strength she felt after going through this elective procedure, particularly given her medical anxiety. "I was really proud of myself for doing something that scared me for my future self!"
Rachel, we’re proud of you too!
Facing the hard parts head-on
The journey wasn't without its challenges. The financial burden was a difficult aspect for her. As a startup founder, making such a significant investment had a real impact. Still, the sacrifice was worth it, even if it meant missing events like close friends' weddings abroad. "I don't have any regrets," she asserts.
Read more about paying for egg freezing:
Choosing Dr. Joshua Stewart at Dr. Joshua Stewart at Cornell for the procedure, she feels the decision has had a profoundly positive effect on her professional life. It allowed her to prioritize her career, team, and business without sacrificing personal aspirations.
Looking back and looking ahead
Looking back, the only thing she might have done differently is to take supplements or seek acupuncture to support her eggs. Yet, she considers the freezing of her eggs as part of her journey, jokingly referring to them as her "insurance plan" and the possibility of thawing these "cuties" to make babies if and when needed.
Rachel says that her relationships and dating life remained unaffected. Freezing her eggs just became "another part of me," not altering her approach to dating or personal relationships.
Advice for others
Her advice for others considering this path is wise and considerate. She urges people to talk to others who have undergone the process, ask questions, advocate for themselves, and not to push themselves if it doesn't feel right.
"Don't feel pressure to do this if it doesn't feel right for you. It's a serious and expensive procedure, so make sure that this is something that you really care about and feel is right for you and where you are today.” We couldn’t agree more!
Q&A with a Cofertility Split Member: “Helping Someone Who Wants to Be a Parent So Badly Is Truly Life Changing”
Cofertility is a human-first fertility ecosystem rewriting the egg freezing and egg donation experience. Our Split program allows women to freeze their eggs at no cost, when they donate half to a family that could not otherwise conceive. We are obsessed with improving the family-building journey — today or in the future — and are in an endless pursuit to make these experiences more positive.
Today, I have the privilege of sitting down with one of our Split members to delve into her personal journey—why she chose to freeze her eggs through our program, how she navigated the emotional toll, and the future she envisages for herself and her family. By peeling back the layers, we seek to understand not just the practicalities but also the emotional and psychological nuances of this choice.
Why did you decide to freeze your eggs through Cofertility’s Split program? What were the factors that led to this decision?
I had considered donating my eggs a few times before I had heard of Cofertility, but it had never moved beyond it being an idea in my head because it never felt right. Most of the marketing I saw about egg donation focused on the monetary benefits, which I understood because it is an invasive procedure, but they never talked about where your eggs were going. It felt very impersonal and that I would have no control or say in where these eggs would go.
I had not considered it again until I heard about Cofertility on Instagram. When I first learned about the idea of helping a couple to conceive while also protecting your own fertility I thought it was genius and wondered why this wasn't an option already. My company does not have egg freezing benefits so egg freezing wasn't something I had been planning to do.
Cofertility's split option gave me an opportunity I hadn't even considered - egg donation that didn't feel as yucky and a chance to preserve my own fertility without a huge price tag. It really felt surreal that I would be able to freeze my eggs and not worry so much about a timeline to decide on kids.
What was the hardest part of the process?
Overall, I really felt that Cofertility made this process quite easy for me. Having a member advocate throughout the entire process was incredible, and not having that person switch or change made it really easy to build up the trust.
At the clinic I went to I saw various nurses and doctors, but my Cofertility member advocate stayed the same and that consistency was extremely impactful to my mental health throughout the process.
At the clinic I went to I saw various nurses and doctors, but my Cofertility member advocate stayed the same and that consistency was extremely impactful to my mental health throughout the process. Out of the entire process, I would say the number of appointments and the amount of time needed during the two-week hormone cycle was probably the hardest. Getting blood drawn multiple times a week, followed by doctors appointments, and all the waiting that comes with both does require time investment. I would try to make my appointments as early in the morning as possible to not interfere with my work, but giving yourself grace and flexibility for those two weeks is necessary. I am fortunate to have the flexibility at my job and work with a group of people that were extremely supportive of what I was going through, but if you are someone who is not used to the process it can feel like a lot of time out of your control.
Was there anything that you were nervous about, but ended up not being as bad as you thought?
I was most nervous about the shots going into it, but they ended up not being as bad as I had expected them to be. For the most part, the needles were much shorter and thinner than I expected and I was able to do all of the shots myself.
In fact, once I did my first one I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment for being able to do it. Cofertility had given me a goody bag when I started my cycle and the little ice pack was wonderful for any post-shot discomfort. I also tried to pair the shots with a treat for myself as a little reward... give myself a shot and have some chocolate, give myself a shot and watch a show I love, give myself a shot and do a little online shopping. This process was all new and different for my body so I tried to give myself grace and love throughout it!
Read about egg freezing shots in I'm Afraid of Needles; Can I Still Freeze My Eggs?
Did freezing your eggs affect your relationships or dating life in any way? How did you navigate these aspects during the process?
When thinking about the people I know who have gone through the egg freezing journey, they were all in different stages of their dating / relationship journey. Some were casually dating and not looking for anything serious, some had a new partner that they hoped would turn into something serious, and some were with a long-term partner but not ready to build their family further than that yet. I fall into that last category. When I decided to freeze my eggs with Cofertility, my husband and I had been together for 9 years and married for one. While we were very serious about each other, we weren't sure if or when we wanted kids, but we knew we didn't want them now. My husband was very supportive of the idea of freezing my eggs for our own future use, but I was curious how he would feel about me donating eggs to another family. When I brought it up to him he truly had less hesitation than I even had. His perspective from day one has been that it is my body and if I feel comfortable with the choice then he is here to support me. That position did not change throughout the process, and if anything he (similar to myself) felt more confident each day with the decision to "split" once we met the intended parents and got to know them more.
I feel very lucky to have had a supportive partner to go through this with and someone who trusted my choices 100%. I know this route is something that may take some partners time to digest and understand, but I think in the end the most important thing is that you, as the person freezing and donating your eggs, feel that this is right for you.
How did you manage the emotional and psychological aspects of freezing and donating your eggs?
Looking back, the opportunity to know the parents who I was donating the eggs to played a huge role in managing the donation emotionally and psychologically. When I first learned about Cofertility I wasn't sure if I would want to have a disclosed donation. I was worried about what that would mean and what that relationship would look like.
After learning more about egg donation, it was clear that there is no such thing as an anonymous donor due to the genetic testing that exists today. If I wanted to donate my eggs, I needed to be okay that the child(ren) that they created would be able to know who I am at some point in their life. This was something that I thought over for a while and researched how DCP (Donor Conceived People) felt about. I wanted to know that I was doing the right thing for the possible children that came from these eggs - my own and the intended parents'.
In the end I felt really good about my decision to have a disclosed donation. Knowing that both the intended parents and myself were on the same page on this built a foundation of care and immense respect for the other party.
In the end I felt really good about my decision to have a disclosed donation. Knowing that both the intended parents and myself were on the same page on this built a foundation of care and immense respect for the other party. I have always shared with them that I want to follow their lead on what feels right throughout the process and the years to come and they have been great communicators of what they want while respecting my choices as well. This relationship, along with the huge support from Cofertility, made the process really supportive of my mental health. I went into it wondering if the combination of doing something totally new, medications / hormones, and other life stress would be hard to handle, but I think the peace of mind that comes with preserving your fertility hugely outweighed any weight from those factors.
What are your plans for the future regarding your frozen eggs? How do you envision incorporating them into your family-building journey, if applicable?
Right now, my husband and I haven't decided when we will start to build our family. In a perfect and easy world, we would have no trouble conceiving and the eggs I have frozen wouldn't need to be used, but I have seen for so many people I love this is not always the case. Whether we use the eggs to conceive all of our future children, conceive naturally at first then need to use the eggs for later children, or not use the eggs at all, it gives me so much peace of mind to know that they are there and we took this step to preserve my fertility. It is not an insurance plan, but it feels good to know that Cofertility opened a door for me that otherwise I likely would not have opened on my own.
Lastly, what advice would you give to someone who is considering freezing and donating their eggs? Are there any important factors they should keep in mind?
The biggest advice I would have is to really understand if you want your egg freezing journey to be something that happens and you are done with it or if you are open to something that will be a little part of you for your life.
What I mean by this is that if you freeze your eggs without donating you go through the process, the injections, and the retrieval and then you are done unless you one day need to use those eggs. When you freeze your eggs and donate half you go through that same process, but in the future there may be a DCP that reaches out to you once they are 18 to try to make a connection, or intended parents that reach out when they need additional family medical history, or maybe you have a closer relationship with the intended parents and you get annual cards with updates of the DCP.
No matter the case, there is a possibility that your involvement with egg donation does not end entirely when the eggs are physically donated. This was something I really thought hard about and found a lot of peace with. The process that Cofertility leads you through with speaking to a fertility counselor both alone and with the intended parents helped with that as well.
On top of the counseling, having a clear contract and great legal support (Cofertility also helps with recommending representation) gave me peace of mind that I knew and agreed to all boundaries in the donation.
I truly think egg donation is such a meaningful thing to do, helping someone who wants to be a parent so badly conceive is truly life changing and I am so grateful to Cofertility for giving me the opportunity to help out an amazing couple and also preserve my own fertility in the process.