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Following two rounds of egg freezing, Becki shares her empowering message through her personal story.
I’ve always known I want children one day, I’ve never doubted that. I first started thinking about freezing my eggs after I’d come out of a few long term relationships. Back in my early 30s a few people had mentioned to me ‘why don’t you freeze your eggs?’ This was when people weren’t really talking about it much, and fertility wasn’t on the radar. People would say to me ‘you’ve got loads of time’. But it got to the point after covid where I felt I’d lost a couple of years of my life, while for many of my friends in relationships it actually fast-forwarded things for them
Being in my mid 30s, things were changing, friends started getting married and having kids, and being single, I didn’t want to be left behind, or lose the chance to be a Mum one day. The pressure feels really big, especially dating and thinking about finding the right person. The last thing I want to do is just settle… you know, you’re trying to get out there in the dating world - and thinking, is this going to be the guy I have children with? I started talking about egg freezing quite seriously with some of my friends, I had this feeling I just wanted to take the pressure off. Freezing my eggs gave me more options, so that the onus wasn’t about meeting someone so I could become a Mum, but find someone who was right for me, not just to have children.
I started researching egg freezing, which was so overwhelming, I was completely bamboozled by it! I’d have a look, then find it was too much and I’d give up for a few months. As a single woman there is no NHS help, so I felt totally alone to do my own research. I spoke to a few friends about what tests they’d recommend, and got some prices from clinics, before ordering an at home fertility test with Hertility, who referred me on to Apricity for my treatment. The fact everything was all in together and all inclusive felt like the best route forward for me. I talked to friends who’d done IVF who confirmed the going rate etc, for ease and reassurance it made sense to go with it.
The support you get through Apricity and the process has been amazing. I really found my treatment brilliant, I couldn’t fault it. From getting medication delivered to my home to the video chats, the actual disruption to my daily life was very small. I could go to scans in places that suited me, and the app itself - even though I never met someone in real life until the treatment at the clinic, it’s amazing how supported I felt the whole way through.
The thought of the injections is worse than the actual doing! A friend came over to help me do the first injection, and then after that it wasn’t too bad. I had a bit of local irritation but that was it. Emotionally I found it harder - not the impact of the hormones but the reasons I was putting my body through this. When I did the second round I was really explicit with friends and family that when I started the medication injections I would be reaching out and need some more support from my loved ones.
I naively thought I’d have enough eggs after one round, and was quite disheartened as I got five eggs from my first egg collection. So at this point I threw myself into the stats and the data, and realised I needed at least one or two more rounds to get enough eggs to bank for the future. Once I made the decision to go ahead with more rounds, I felt the weight lift.
Since then I’ve done one more round and got seven more eggs, and I have one more round still to go. I’m very aware it’s not a guarantee or an insurance policy, this is about having more opportunities, and I don’t even know if it will go well if I try to conceive naturally. However I like having this option.
It took me a bit longer to get back to normal the second time, I felt quite bloated, but I had to remind myself to be kind and take it easy. Take the time off work if you can. My work was very flexible and supportive. Compaies are aware of people going through IVF treatment or pre-natal or maternity care, but egg freezing is part of this journey and we need support too!
Going through this process has really opened my eyes to the fact that I’m not on my own. Egg freezing is much more commonplace than you realise, I have friends abroad in the US and Australia where it’s more common and affordable and a lot of companies abroad support their employees with it financially. I think the UK has some way to go here.
I’m very open with work and friends about what I’m doing, which does surprise people. Many aren’t comfortable talking about egg freezing, I think a lot of it is social pressure. I had an idea in my head that I'd be married with two kids at 26, and just like me, many people have a view of life and an expectation of how it should turn out. And then when that doesn’t happen, many feel like a failure that it hasn’t ‘gone to plan’. It shouldn’t have to be this way. The reality is the world is different nowadays, there is no ‘traditional’ route to parenthood anymore, and so many different family setups. Social media plays a big part here, I actually deleted the apps off my phone last year to avoid seeing the ‘perfect family image’ especially during Christmas as it can be so triggering. I have to remember it’s just a highlight reel!
I’ve chosen not to settle for a partner at this stage, and I’m not willing to forgo what I really want, so freezing my eggs gives me more options. I have even started thinking more about whether having a child on my own is a possibility, which wasn’t the intention when I first froze my eggs, but now I know there are more options to go down that route if I want it.
My message for anyone thinking about freezing their eggs: there is nothing to lose. It’s not an 'insurance policy', but it gives you more options and more control when so much feels out of your control.
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