Ricki – an Evewell patient – had been thinking about preserving her fertility for a while, and last February she took the plunge and decided to freeze her eggs.
She’s sharing her story here, as well as some really useful tips, in the hope it will help other women considering freezing their eggs.
28 October 2022
My egg freezing experience
I’m 34, turning 35 soon, and single. Freezing my eggs was something I’d been thinking about for a while and it had been playing on my mind for some time. It was like one of those things that you kind of push to the back of your mind and continue to ignore…
Last February I felt ready to investigate and explore my options. I was going to take charge and use the information I received to protect my fertility as well as preserve it too. Egg freezing is not guaranteed but I felt I wanted to be able to do something and have some eggs in the freezer should I need them in the future. My biggest fear was not doing it and wishing that I had done it a few years down the line.
Choosing The Evewell for my egg freezing journey
I also had a feeling that now was the right time, so I followed my gut feeling. I really believe one has to be in the right frame of mind and feel ready to embark on this journey. I had heard of The Evewell from a few places and I made some enquiries and I was continuously told: “they really are the best.”
I chose Mr Davis as my consultant and when I met him for my initial consultation I knew I had made the right choice and I was in the safest hands. Mr Davis answered all my questions and explained everything clearly and with much sensitivity. I met the nurses who showed me all the different meds I would be on. I was also given the nurse’s emergency contact number should I need it. The nurses know how stressful and anxious this time is and they were ALWAYS there to answer my questions, fears and worries. Things all moved pretty fast and we decided together I would start the process in a matter of weeks.
How I prepared for freezing my eggs
I can’t say I did much to prepare my body, but I knew my running and exercise would have to take a backseat. The thing that really helped me was familiarising myself with all the different medications I would be taking. I also bought a notebook which I took with me to every appointment and wrote all my notes inside.
I bought ice packs from Amazon which I used before my injections each morning and evening. I cut down on caffeine so I had one coffee a day and I increased my fluid intake. I was allowed to continue exercising with my trainer this was very important for me we just tweaked the sessions a little bit. I wanted to have as much continuity in my life’s routine as possible.
My tips for freezing your eggs
I found it hugely useful by filing all my paperwork in a file and using it to re-read through all the forms and information. I would also advise making sure you have all your meds in good time before you start and familiarise yourself with the different drugs. Some medications will be needed to be kept in the fridge so make sure you have space for them when they come.
Don’t be alarmed when it all arrives it can be overwhelming but any questions you can either ask the pharmacy or one of the nurses at The Evewell. No question is ever too silly to ask. Remember to be kind to yourself this is really big and some days you will just be completely tired and overwhelmed and that’s normal.
What happened when I started my egg freezing cycle
Once I started my egg freezing cycle, everything in my life revolved around this for the next two weeks. Generally you will have scans and blood tests every two days it is usually with the same consultant. At The Evewell every day the nurses and all the consultants have a meeting to discuss each patient. This is really great as you not only have input from your chosen consultant but from the entire team too.
On the days when you have scans and bloods, the nurses will call you after 4pm to let you know if you need to change any of the drugs you are taking and when you need to next come in.
I found injecting myself OK, some were definitely more tricky to administer than others. I think the key is making sure you have enough time before to prepare and then time after preparing to administer. If I was due to inject at 9:30am, I would start preparing at 9:20am, giving myself extra time should I need it. Remember; 9:30am is when you have to inject, so setting your alarm for 9:30am won’t work as it takes time to organise and sort.
Another tip is driving into central London for bloods and scans for 8am is a really busy time on the roads. The worst thing is to be stuck in traffic and so anxious that your appointment time is creeping closer and you are still no way near. Leave extra time I promise you your nerves will thank you.
The egg collection process
After about two weeks of injecting your consultant will decide when is the best time for egg collection. I remember I was not worried about this but I just wanted it to be over. My egg collection was on a Monday so I went into the Evewell for my last scan I think on the Friday.
One of the nurses was chatting to me about what to expect on Monday she said would I like to see the theatre and then I can visualise in my mind that it’s not this big scary space. We went to the theatre and I couldn’t believe how small it was. The nurse was so reassuring she told me she would make sure she would be with me on Monday and sure enough, she was waiting for me.
When I arrived I was taken to a quiet room and soon after I was collected. Everyone was super calm blood pressure was done, identity questions were asked and then Mr Davis arrived with my consent form. This time is useful to ask your consultant any last-minute questions or concerns you may have. About fifteen minutes later I walked into the theatre and I had my eggs collected. I was sedated I had no pain whatsoever and I woke up what felt like seconds later.
I was then taken into recovery where I was very pleased to be able to have a cup of coffee and breakfast. Honestly, I think this part of the process was the easiest. The embryologist then came in and told me how many eggs were collected. Shortly after the nurse came in and said I was now able to go home.
The next day I would say I had minimal pain. I was able to go to work and even went for a slow 5km walk!
How I felt after my egg freezing experience
It is always a strange feeling once you have finished this process as you kind of feel you were so regimented during this time. I had to be home at certain times and heading back and forth into town but having the support of my incredible family and the team at the Evewell made the biggest difference. I have comfort in my mind and heart that I made the right decision and that my eggs are safely stored should I need them in the future. We don’t know what the future holds for each of us but doing something that can help protect one’s fertility for later on is a true gift.
I can’t express enough how my Instagram friends helped me through and were there to answer my questions. Sending me daily messages and checking in on me meant the world. Life is not always how we imagine it to be but being able to be proactive and learning I am stronger than I think has been a blessing.
Mr Davis thank you for your compassion and care I am forever indebted to you and your team. For all those thinking about this journey please don’t hesitate to contact me, my inbox is always open.
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