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Egg-citing Times: My Egg Freezing Journey

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

Hello, curious minds and fellow egg-venturers! Today, I'm excited to share my experience of freezing my eggs as a woman who's uncertain about parenthood. So, fasten your seatbelts, and I'll take you through the highs, lows, and even the hilarious moments of my egg freezing journey – from the initial decision-making process to the hormone injections and everything in between.


But before we dive in, please remember that my story is unique to me and my medical history. Everyone's situation is different, so it's essential to talk to a healthcare professional for personalized advice.



Anything But Maternal

Growing up, I always imagined a future with children. Well, not exactly babies or toddlers, but rather adult children (can we call them that?). I always pictured them in high school or college. I never even thought about the twelve plus years that come before that!


I'm more of the cool, wine drinking "aunt" who dishes out dating advice to teenagers and stays up to date. on the latest high school gossip. Babysitting and entertaining toddlers isn’t really my thing. But hey, dreams can change, and perhaps one day my perspective will too.


So, when my friend from the States mentioned she was freezing her eggs, my interest was piqued. I realized it was more common than I thought and even though I was leaning towards the no-kids camp, I decided to explore the option. After all, there's yet to be a way to magically teleport a teenager out of my body, and considering the potential for changing values and the absence of a partner, it seemed worth considering.



So, what exactly is egg freezing?

Egg freezing, or oocyte cryopreservation, lets you preserve your eggs for the future. The process involves stimulating the ovaries, retrieving the eggs, preparing them for freezing, and then storing them until you're ready to use them.


But nothing is guaranteed. Success rates vary, and the quantity, quality, or effectiveness of the frozen eggs cannot be assured. Regardless of the outcome I had decided to only do this process once, but friends of mine have gone through it multiple times.


Choosing the Right Clinic

(Note that everything I am sharing is specific to my experience in The Netherlands)


Finding the right clinic is crucial for a smooth egg freezing experience. After doing some research, I chose TFP Fertility clinic in Leiden, the Netherlands. Great staff, shorter waiting list, and all of their information was available in English – perfect!


Let me give you some advice: if you're even remotely considering egg freezing in The Netherlands, get on a waitlist pronto. In Amsterdam, the waiting list is around 18 months and in Leiden, it's about 5-8 . There's no obligation, and the initial intake, transvaginal ultrasound, and blood check are free. So as Nike would say, if you are even considering it... Just do it.


Costs

Now let's talk costs. Egg freezing expenses vary globally. In the US, the procedure can cost upwards of $12,000, while in the UK, it's around £8,000. In the Netherlands, my entire process cost approximately €3,000 (including transportation to and from Leiden six times). Additionally, there's a yearly storage fee for the frozen eggs, which is €150 in the Netherlands, and as a reference point, a friend of mine in the states is paying $720 a year for her storage.


Since proactive egg freezing is considered an elective procedure, it was not covered by my insurance. But definitely check with your insurance provider, as some policies may cover it based on your situation. Some companies also offer fertility benefits (I'll save getting into the controversial opinions over this for another day!), so it's worth exploring those options too.


Step one: Diving into the unknown