Why I froze eggs not embryos

posted by Brigitte Adams February 4, 2013

I read something on the Eggsurance Forum yesterday that really resonated with me.  “I’m really relieved it’s behind me, but realized the process was more emotional than physical.”  We all are so concerned with the shots and other physical aspects of the procedure that we often underestimate the emotional toll egg freezing takes.

Freezing my eggs was an emotional roller coaster – my emotions ranged from anxiety, hope, anger to happiness and fear in a single day.  The day the gigantic box with my meds arrived was an especially traumatic one.  It was not the contents of the box that scared me so much as what the box represented.  The needles, ampoules and gauze staring back at me overwhelmed me.  Why was I in this situation?  When had a taken a wrong turn in my life?  Where was Mr. Right?  My mind raced as the tears poured down my face.

For me, freezing my eggs was as far as I could think.  Full stop.  The thought of finding a reputable sperm bank, pouring through online profiles, staring at baby pictures and handwriting samples of potential sperm sources was too much.  It’s like match.com on steroids.  What color hair should he have?  Should he be a right brained or left brained? How tall should he be?  Should he complement me or be my opposite?  Yikes!  I was too emotionally drained to think about introducing sperm into the mix.

The debate is out on whether it is preferable to freeze eggs vs. embryos.  Some doctors think embryo freezing is the way to go based on higher pregnancy rates.  Others cite the improved rates of fast freezing put egg freezing efficacy on par with embryo freezing.  I tend to agree with Dr. Jamie Grifo of NYU Fertility who explained his egg freezing preference in an earlier Eggsurance interview:

“It is preferable to freeze eggs. Embryos can be limiting; for example, embryos frozen with Mr. Wrong don’t make sense if you meet Mr. Right later. Also, we are discovering that frozen embryos can bring up more psychological or emotional problems. An embryo involves both the egg and the sperm therefore can be more complex. Additionally, the creation and disposition of human embryos produced solely for future use have raised ethical, legal and religious concerns.  Therefore, for a variety of reasons, it is preferable to freeze eggs which leaves more options for future use.”

For me, introducing the sperm discussion into my already precarious emotional state was too much.  I don’t regret this decision as it has given me more options.  I can now start sperm shopping with a clear head now that my eggs are already on ice.  What about you?  Are you an egg or an embryo?

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