“I wish I knew I should freeze my eggs when I was young”
Lisa is a 45 years old single mum of a wonderful 16 months old girl, conceived with HSFC’s help, using donor eggs and donor sperm.
Lisa is a successful woman with a thriving career, and she was looking to begin the next phase of her life, by starting a family. And she now has Tiana!
Lisa kindly agreed to share her story with other people, hoping to inspire young women in their fertility journeys.
Listen to Lisa’s podcasts below:
Podcast – Part 1:
Podcast – Part 2:
Becoming a single parent in her 40s
Lisa got married at 37, and she wanted to be married and settled down before starting a family. “My mum and dad were married for a long time,” says Lisa. “Although is old fashioned, I didn’t want to have a child out of wedlock. I wanted to be in a stable relationship as I didn’t want my child to grow up without a dad. I never planned for being a single mum. I am not married anymore, and, as it turned out, time wasn’t on my side.”
As focused as Lisa was on her career, she was also a fitness enthusiast. “I even ran the London Marathon, and I knew that having a family meant it was hard to focus on work and fitness. I wanted to work, travel, get that out of the way before having a family.”
Wanting to be a mother
Not married anymore and in her 40s Lisa decided it was time to have a family, so she started researching for the best fertility clinics in London. Lisa came across HSFC and found it to be a good fit for her, “I wasn’t sure what to choose, a London clinic or a clinic in another part of the country. Considering I am driving, going into London was good for me with regular and reliable trains, and being a young clinic it meant fewer patients, so the probability of being seeing quick was high” says Lisa.
The information evening
“They offered an information evening that I attended, with a discounted consultation – it meant that I could see a senior consultant, at a good price, from the open evening, so that helped my search at looking at IVF options.”
Lisa had a package which included a free cycle of IVF, using her own eggs and donor sperm. “There were 3 IVF cycles, the third one being free. Knowing my age, there was a low chance of getting pregnant for the first time, so I chose the 3 package cycle. I was also listening to the consultant, and going for her recommendation. This was my first treatment with the IVF package.”
For the first 2 cycles, Lisa wanted to try IVF with her own eggs so she did just that. Unfortunately, they did not work. When she had only a cycle left, she decided to take the money back and try with donor eggs, saying that “tempting a third time with my own was a no, so I decided to hold back.” She then decided to use donor eggs for her third IVF cycle, which proved to be successful and made Lisa a mother.
Missing out on fertility preservation.
Lisa says that, unfortunately, she didn’t think of freezing her eggs in her 30s. Had she been aware of the fact that freezing her eggs at a relatively younger age and the proven results of egg freezing success rates, she would have definitely considered it. “The education wasn’t there. If someone would have told me, ‘Lisa, when you get to mid-30s, 35, your egg reserve can become low, and obviously the quality of your eggs goes down.’ If I knew, I would have thought about it. It wasn’t in my mind because I didn’t think it would be hard to fall pregnant. I wasn’t aware of egg quality, I said to myself “I am still having a cycle, so I can get pregnant, egg quality wasn’t in my mind!”. Even educated at an earlier age I would have taken that on board.”
Her advice, never overlook the benefits of the egg freezing process!
Lisa has a very strong and powerful message for young women:
“If you don’t want to settle down early, if you don’t want to get married early, if you don’t want a family early, definitely freeze your eggs. Women want a career, do more for themselves, be stable, get a home, If you are on your own, do that! Freeze your eggs, as a plan B if you wish!”
Lisa adds that “knowing what I know now , and being aware it’s more difficult to get pregnant past your mid 30s, I would definitely freeze my eggs!”
The journey to parenthood with HSFC
Lisa says that one of the best parts about HSFC was that the clinic was always accommodative and flexible. Although the clinic was very busy at times which caused slight delays in her appointments, Lisa says the clinic’s out of hours appointments are always outstanding.
“They always offered evening clinics which other clinics don’t do, and being at work full time is not really easy to get appointments during working hours, so an appointment at 8 o’clock was great.”
Lisa has only praises for the clinic and the staff. “From nurses to the consultant, everything was great, they were very empathetic and understanding. Counselling was also a very positive experience.”
Being with the same nurses and doctors throughout the journey was extremely comforting and made the process a lot easier for Lisa. “It’s lovely to see the same nurse, when you are having treatment, the job they do is very important. Other clinics have a high turnover of nurses and it’s lovely, when you go again to the clinic, to see the same familiar faces.” Lisa finds the HSFC staff very personable, “like friends that you really need when you are going through a treatment,” she says.
“Dr Venkat is lovely and I am very happy I saw her. She does look after the more-mature patients. I had calls from her, out of hours, on weekends, regarding my treatment which is lovely, she cares even outside of normal working hours.”
A situation that stood out for Lisa was the way in which a situation around her embryo transfer was handled.
“I was ready for an embryo transfer but Dr Venkat had a family emergency so she couldn’t be there at the time. She phoned me and explained the situation. She didn’t want me to have the transfer as she wanted to be the one to do it, which made me really confident that you have got a consultant that is looking after you and not just handing you to somebody else. Knowing that it’s a family business sits right with me,” Lisa adds.
Lisa has been working from home 3 days/week, She describes the lockdown with a toddler as “challenging and hard work – it was nice to go back at work, but I would prefer to back in the office. I can schedule my days very well. My daughter is back at the nursery from 1st of June so this takes the pressure off.”
Lisa plans to meet her dad, spending time in the garden, as a family. “We were also doing a lot of walking, taking the dog out, becoming more chatty with people around. People are more chatty, we stop and chat- people have time! Before, people had busy lives so a positive came out of this whole experience”.
Lisa feels it is time that Tiana had a sibling and she is taking the next steps in her journey. “I get a call with Dr Venkat next week to discuss my future options.”
We wish Lisa and Tiana all the best in their journey together, and we look forward to helping them grow their family!
If you would like to start your fertility journey with us, you can take the first step and book a fertility check-up to learn about your fertility status and the best fertility treatments for you. If Lisa’s advice has inspired you to consider freezing your eggs, please visit our egg freezing page to find out more or attend our webinar on Egg Freezing.
And do feel free to call if you need additional information or just need to speak to someone at all, we are always happy to help!