“Time is like a river, you cannot touch the same water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again”This quote is really true for me. At age 33, the serious relationship I was in ended and I found myself single, starting again to search for “Mr Right”. At the time I didn't feel that worried, I thought I had plenty of time. But having kids has always been really important to me so I was curious about my fertility. I went and had a fertility check done and they checked my AMH levels - a blood test to indicate my egg reserve. The results came back and I was pleasantly surprised that it was above average for my age. Relief! I considered freezing my eggs but at that time, it didn't feel urgent. I didn’t want to be spending $10,000 on egg freezing when it could be spent on a car, or travel, or a house deposit. I look back now and I realise how important age is as a factor on egg health and fertility. Everything else in life can wait. The house the car, the overseas trip. Fertility doesn’t wait.
I really do want a family and to find love. And I’m not sitting around waiting for Mr Right to swoop me off my feet. Finding myself single again in my 30’s has been hard at times. My friends were all getting married and having babies and I wanted that. I threw myself into online dating, the tennis club, anything to put myself in a position to meet someone. It’s a strange dynamic in this digital age, when it comes to dating. Once you hit your 30’s you start meeting guys who have been there done that - they have either had babies or don't want to commit to a serious relationship. It’s almost like with online dating there are too many options available with a quick swipe right, and I find that men don't want to settle down in their 30’s as they don't feel the same pressure as women. Time goes by very quickly when you are dating and searching.
At age 37 I had the AMH fertility test done again and it showed my fertility was again above average. I was relieved but I wasn't mucking around. I still wanted to find a partner to share my life with and have the option of trying for kids. I was really impacted one time while visiting my Nana at her rest home in my 30’s. She is 96 and she has family, children and grandchildren visiting her. I sat there thinking to myself who will be visiting me when I am old? What will my legacy be and who will know about me? I actually asked her for advice as to what she thinks I should do and my nana encouraged me to take opportunities.
I did my own research on egg freezing. I researched overseas clinics and success stories, I followed blogs of women around the world who had undertaken this procedure. Most of them never regretted getting this done even if they didn’t decide to use their eggs. One thing that really interested me was that women who were over 40 who had their eggs frozen in their 30’s were able to use their own genetic eggs when they were no longer fertile.
I decided to get another fertility test done again at age 39 and this time I was shocked. My fertility had dropped from 30 mpl to 7 mpl in just 14 months. I felt disappointed that it had dropped so much in a short period of time. I remember seeing those results and thinking, ‘Oh my goodness, how could this be that within a year my fertility has dropped so dramatically when I feel so fit and young’. At this point my consultant talked to me about the option of freezing, she went through the statistics and talked through the medication and the retrieval.
I decided this time that I would freeze my eggs. I feel in my heart that the regret of not having explored my options would have caused me more sorrow and disappointment than completely losing the opportunity. It was a case of “take the risk or lose the chance”. I knew that no matter how much I regret about my past, how sad or angry I have become, my yesterdays will never return. The world of “should have” or “could have” or “if only” would have been much worse than not taking a chance and saying at least I looked at my options, explored and took a risk.
It’s an expensive process but worth it. I thought it through and calculated that I have spent $28000 on car insurance since I was 18 and have never actually had to claim on it. But no one ever thinks about fertility and how many problems there can be if you have any issues with getting pregnant.
It was an incredibly easy process. I took regular hormone drugs which made me feel amazing, the rise in estrogen gave me a boost, I was lucky not to get any side effects. And then I had the eggs removed during one consultation. It wasn't painful or scary and it was very quick.
It’s a relief to have taken this step. I feel like it’s given me a bit of time. I guess I feel a little more relaxed, I don’t feel that I have to work so hard to make things happen as I have taken part of the step towards the possibility.
I really believe that even women at 39 shouldn't feel like it’s too late to look at their options. My mantra is, it’s not over till it’s over. I know what I want from life, and I'm going to keep going and not let the dream end. I don't want to be unrealistic but I want to keep hopeful and positive about it for now and keep the option open.
Egg freezing is still a bit of a sensitive topic as it’s not so commonly done these days. In 10 years’ time it will be a different story I’m sure of it. I want to talk about it so that women know what their options are. It is a bit of an investment, but on my part, I know that there is no second chance when it comes to my fertility. I know that if I meet someone, then this opportunity has given me a glimpse of hope.
If you’re interested to learn more about looking into egg freezing, having a fertility check or discussing your personal situation, you can book a free 15 minute phone consultation with a fertility doctor. Phone 0800 483 105 or click here to send an email.
Thank you to our generous client for sharing their personal story.