“It’s a wonderful thing for women in their 30s to buy themselves some time and focus on other things. I highly recommend the egg freezing process.”
Due to being misinformed about egg freezing, some of our patients miss the opportunity of having a baby using their own eggs. Thankfully for our lovely patient Libby, this was not the case. In this story, Libby tells us about why she chose the “insurance” option of freezing her eggs with HSFC in her 30’s.
Listen to Libby’s podcast below, and read her story.
Libby begins her interview by explaining her first thoughts about the egg freezing process: “A few years ago, when I was 31 years old, I started to think about wanting to freeze my eggs,”. Libby admits she didn’t know anything about the process, and only knew that some celebrities had done it in the past. “I Googled about freezing my eggs and I came across Harley Street Fertility Clinic.”
Once she found us, Libby attended one of our open evenings. She tells us it was a great opportunity to come and see the clinic in-person and meet the staff. She loved how every person could have 10-15 minutes with the doctor to understand what the process might mean for them, as well as the costs involved. Libby got her individual meeting with Dr Venkat (Director and Senior Consultant at HSFC). “She was really great and confirmed my thinking that egg freezing was the right thing for me to do.”
Making the final decision about Egg Freezing
Libby had just turned 33 when she froze her eggs. “At that time I was single. I thought: I don’t feel ready to have a baby in the next few years. I saw myself being 40 years old and wanting to have a baby then. I put my career first, and I wanted to buy myself some time. Dr Venkat was totally onboard with that.”
Libby originally considered having more than one egg retrieval, because she knew the average number of eggs was 8-12. However, at the first egg collection she had 19 eggs retrieved and 15 mature ones. “It was a good number for me, and an insurance policy” – in the end, she decided not to have a second egg collection.
Libby tells us that egg freezing was a big decision for her as it involved a significant cost. She had to ask her parents to help, but luckily they understood, and also saw it as an investment for their own future.
“Three years ago I wasn’t ready to even think about having a baby, and I am still not ready to have a baby. The idea of having my younger eggs frozen that I could use when I decide, confirmed for me that I should do it. Dr Venkat was so ‘on my level’ – she called me and gave me the results of the first few tests I had to do. I am very proud, and feel very happy now that I’ve done it. I would recommend it to any woman in her 30s.”
The ongoing process
Libby says that from the moment she started thinking about freezing her eggs right up until her eggs were actually frozen, it took about a year.
“You are thinking of doing it, then there are doctors appointments, then the appointments for the blood tests to make sure you are a good candidate… I’d say overall the tests took about one full month.”
Libby tells us she had no problems taking the injections, and had also gained some weight which she lost again after the egg retrieval.
“It’s about 3-4 weeks in total to have the eggs frozen. For that time, it’s a commitment to do that and nothing else. There are rules you have to follow in terms of eating and drinking and exercising, but easy in relative terms of what we have to go through as women,” says Libby.
The HSFC Family
Libby was at the clinic almost every day for a month. “Everyone makes you feel very welcome and very safe. I would say the entire practice makes you feel like it’s not too crazy of a thing that you are doing, which is really nice. The hormones make you go through all sorts of emotions. Whether you go through it alone or with someone, it’s an emotional process. It makes you think about your life and what you want in the future. Everyone who is a patient at Harley Street Fertility Clinic feels the same way. It’s very welcoming, very safe and a very nurturing team of people.”
A message of hope for other women
Libby wants to tell all young women that it’s worth thinking about freezing their eggs. “Women in their 30s are in the right place, mentally and physically, to think about fertility and about freezing their eggs. I recommend having the initial consultation with a doctor about their fertility, just to start the conversation. If you can afford it, absolutely go for it.”
“I think, for me, when I reach 37 I will make a decision about what I will do with [my eggs], depending where I am professionally and the kind of relationship I have.”
While there are a lot of options, Libby is still conscious of the fact she might not use her eggs at all. “I like the idea that I can use them myself with a donor. I could also use them with a partner down the line if I needed to. If I don’t need them I might donate them – I will still think overall it was the right thing for me to do, because I wanted to buy myself some time and not feel panicked about having to meet someone.”
We are looking forward to catching up with Libby in the future to see where she is in her fertility journey. In the meantime, if you would like to know more about egg freezing, please register for our egg freezing webinar.