I froze my eggs at the age of 39. I chose London Egg Bank because I was able to pay for egg freezing treatment in instalments, unlike other clinics.
Like many other women, I’d been dreaming since my 20s to have babies with the right man. Due to a series of long-term failed relationships, I feared my age was catching up and soon I wouldn’t be fertile enough to have children.
I was an only child, and I didn’t want to feel like an orphan, alone in the world. I’d also given up on dating - I couldn’t fathom why I had to beg a man for a committed relationship and children.
Sadly, I belong to an ethnic community and a culture where only married women with kids are considered successful, as opposed to women like me who spent years on their education and career to achieve success.
When I had a fertility screening to check my ovarian reserve, the doctor was surprised that I still had many follicles at the age of 39. I knew it takes only one egg to produce a baby, so I decided to proceed with the egg freezing treatment.
To me, this isn’t an insurance and I know there’s no guarantee that every frozen egg will be of great quality, but at least it gives me some options in the future - and you never know until you’ve tried.
I had regular contacts with my consultant, nurses and doctors to ensure my treatment went well. The team at London Egg Bank was very helpful and extremely professional.
In the past, I had injection phobia, and even the sound of needles scared me. However, these were subcutaneous injections and it was easy to follow the nurse’s instructions. I hardly felt any pain. Now I’ve become an injection expert.
I responded very well to the medication and the doctor was very excited to see around 16 to 19 follicles developed.
Days prior to the first cycle treatment, the doctor introduced injections to stimulate as many follicles as possible to get the best out of my treatment. My tummy felt bloated, but I was still able to work from home and eat normally. I stopped my 5K runs and walked in the evenings during my treatment.
After the surgery, the embryologist informed me she collected 18 eggs, 15 were matured and stored immediately. I was thrilled and felt so lucky! I saw the doctor for a final scan days after my surgery. She was very happy with the outcome of the treatment and explained how unusual it was for a woman aged 39 to produce so many eggs in just one cycle.
My advice to all ladies is whether you are in your 20s, 30s or 40s, the first step is to go for a fertility scan to check your ovarian reserve.
The media has always portrayed older women shouldn’t freeze eggs after the 35-year age limit. This discourages many women in their late 30s or 40s from even considering egg freezing. It may be true to some extent, but every woman is different. From my experience, I’m now a firm believer that biological age is not the same as chronological age.
I felt so relieved and very confident after the surgery and told myself that I’m not going to beg a man to give me a decent relationship and a child. I can always use my eggs in future and use a sperm donor if I decide to become a single mum by choice.
We all invest heavily in many things, yet I encourage women of all ages to consider freezing their eggs, including women belonging to the BAME community. Women nowadays should be able to decide their future autonomously, instead of waiting and hoping for a man to give them the green light to start a family.
Take the first step to freezing your eggs and making choices about your future fertility.