The Egg Freezing process

There are so many things couples faced with infertility have to consider, also single women and those undergoing chemotherapy also have to consider how to deal with their verity. 

Freezing one’s eggs is the best option to secure ones future as parents or to at least keep one’s hope of being a parent alive.

 

UK law allows you to store your eggs for up to 10 years.

In the UK, egg freezing costs on average between £3,500 and £4,500 for one cycle of treatment. In addition to this price, you’ll have to pay an annual fee to keep your eggs stored (from £200 to £360).

What is Egg Freezing?

Egg freezing is a method of preserving a woman’s fertility so she can try and have children at a later date.it involved collecting a woman’s egg, freezing them to allow her to have a baby later on when she’s ready. 

With marriage at an all time low and women finding the right partner much later it makes sense to freeze one’s eggs to ensure that when the time comes one can still have a baby. 

There are other medical reasons for freezing one’s eggs.

To embark on chemotherapy or If a woman  is due to undergo other medical treatment involving some potent drugs.

Also a woman’s chances of conceiving naturally falls as she gets older, becomes the egg quality decreases egg freezing ensures that the best quality eggs are frozen and preserved which can be thawed at a later date.

Key facts:

In 2017, 19% of IVF treatments using a patient’s own frozen eggs were successful.

It’s becoming more successful but by no means a guarantee of having a baby.

Funding may be available if you’re having treatment that affects your fertility. (Source hfea.co.uk)

Is egg freezing for you?

You might be wondering if egg freezing is for you. 

It may be, if you fall into any of the following.

  1. You currently have a medical condition or intend to undergo a treatment for a medical condition which can affect your fertility. 

  2. You are getting on in age and have not met the right partner to start a family with and worried about your quality of egg decking as you get older 

  3. Members of the armed forces who bring deployed to a war zone.

Process

Before egg freezing, you will be tested for HIV and Hepatitis, to ensure that affected samples are stored separately from unaffected samples. 

Once collected the eggs will  a crypto protectant which is a freezing solutions will be added to the eggs. The eggs will be frozen either by cooking them down slowly or by fast freezing called vitrification. 

The fast freezing is regarded as the best methods to adopt for preservation given its success rate. 

When you are ready to use your eggs, they will be thawed and fertilised with the sperm. 

THE COST 

The process of freezing eggs is expensive. On average the cost of having the eggs collected is about £3,350.

Egg storage cost between £125 and £350 per year. 

There maybe unexpected cost added in by the clinic, so It is important to get a full cost of the treatment plan.

Thawing eggs and transferring them to the womb costs an average of £2,500. So, the whole process for egg freezing and thawing costs an average of £7,000-£8,000.

Egg freezing is becoming more popular as more people are freezing their eggs.

In 2017, there were 1,463 egg freezing cycles (in comparison to almost 70,000 IVF treatment cycles overall). Between 2010 and 2017, around 700 babies were born through frozen eggs in the UK.

If you do decided to freeze your eggs be sure to carry out some background checks on the clinic before embarking on the process. Be sure to check out the success rate for women in your age bracket.

Summary.

Eggs can only be kept for 10 years unless exceptional medical circumstances, where you can be allowed to store the eggs up to 55 years. 

To use frozen eggs for fertility process it has to be thawed, the eggs are fertilised via a fertility treatment proves known as ICSI. 

This is because the freezing process makes the outer coating around the egg tougher making fertilisation via turn normal IVF process harder. 

You must update your records at the clinic they do change. This is so that you can be contacted before the 10 years limit for destroying the eggs. 

Your Partner In Hope 

D’Ebi

Related links

https://faithfulwait.com/2019/09/27/ivf-process-step-by-step/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/08/13/single-women-and-ivf/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/04/15/exploring-other-options-icsi/

Sources

NHS

HFEA

IVF PROCESS: Step by Step

Do you know what you are getting into I asked, no I don’t and I don’t care. The only thing I care about is that a baby comes out at the end of it all. This was the conversation I had with a colleague a few weeks ago. 

2 months into her treatment, she was exhausted, miserable and an emotional wreck. She was broken in more ways than she ever thought possible.

She has 3 failed cycle. Before finally conceiving on the 4th.

So what can we do to prepare for Treatment.

First we need to understand the process. What is involved and the help available to you.

Below are 9 steps to be aware of before embarking on treatment 

  1. IVF treatment requires a lot of doctors visit, this is for the clinic to find out the cause and commence the appropriate treatment. After this comes the shots 

  2. The shots: These are administered for 10 to 12 days to stimulate the woman’s ovaries. During a normal cycle, a woman produces one or two eggs. During an IVF cycle the ovaries are stimulated to produce lots of eggs to increase the chances of success. You will be monitored daily or every other day. This will involve ultrasound to measure the size of the eggs as well as ensure that the ovaries are not over stimulated.

  3. After the stimulation phase comes the egg retrieval from the ovaries. This is done under general anesthesia. It is then put in a dish (usually in the lab) to be mixed with the sperm.

  4. Then comes the monitoring stage. 3 to 5 days after the egg retrieval if fertilization occurs, the embryos will be placed back into your uterus. 

  5. Sometimes the eggs maybe abnormal and no fertilization will occur, where this happens it means the cycle has failed. 

  6. The transfer only occurs where the eggs have been fertilized by the sperm. 

  7. You may have some embryos left over and decide to freeze them for later. 

  8. Two weeks after the implantation: you will be invited for a blood test by your clinic to see if you are pregnant. 

  9. This is a very stressful time and you may want to occupy yourself during these 2 weeks wait. 

  10. Pray, believe and rest. 

This is a summary of the IVF process. 

You maybe wondering if it will work, there are no guarantees in life, but we can only try, pray hope and believe.. 

Your Partner in Hope 

D’Ebi 

Related links

https://faithfulwait.com/2019/07/14/what-if/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/08/13/single-women-and-ivf/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/07/17/the-uk-commissioning-groups-decides-who-gets-funding-for-ivf-there-are-some-factories-they-take-into-consideration-i-deciding-who-gets-funded-this-post-looks-the-criterial-for-funding/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/04/15/exploring-other-options-icsi/

What If

What if someone told you after being diagnosed of infertility it will take you 15 rounds of IVF, £80,000 later before you fall pregnant.

Will you continue? Will you relax knowing that success is guaranteed at the 15th attempt?

Enter Hannah Vaughan, a CCN. news anchor who after 15 IVFs is finally pregnant.

This post is to encourage anyone who feel like giving up now after several attempts. That is, If you are still trying naturally or thinking of alternatives.

I had 2 failed IVF and know how draining, traumatic and emotionally debilitating the process was.

Our 3rd and successful attempt was by far the most rigorous, stressful, and thankfully successful.

So to have gone through the grueling process 15 times not knowing what the outcome will be is nothing short of outstanding bravery, hope and tenacity in the face of adversity..

I am so happy she is finally pregnant.

One thing is certain if her treatment is anything like mine, being pregnant doesn’t mean she can finally relax and ease into pregnancy.. Nope far from that.

For me, I certainly became more anxious and paranoid. I had no moment where I eased into pregnancy.

From the moment I heard the words “pregnant”.

Then began another phase of monitoring which involved progesterone injections for 3 months, weekly blood test to monitor the levels of Pregnancy hormones and weekly scans. I lived for those weekly scans and in between paralyzed with fear at the thought that my baby migth not make it.

I am grateful my clinic had 24 hours help line which meant I could reach out to them whenever I suspected any slight change in the way I felt.

I remembered one fateful Saturday night I become paranoid because I had not felt the baby move.

I felt really well and strong and I panicked. It was exactly the way I felt when I lost my 2nd pregnancy. So you can imagine my fear..

I thought I had lost my baby..

Having lost 2 pregnancies at 12 and 14 weeks I was convinced i was having a miscarriage ..

I was so worked up I called the clinic and was asked to come in first thing on Sunday morning.

My hubby had to drive me through the center of London to my clinic. Mine the first appointment of the day.. straight away I had my bloods test and scans.

It turns out, all was well, my HCG levels had more than doubled which was a good sign. A scan further revealed a strong heart beat..

it was the day we bought a doper scanner. I was a nervous reck. You can say i bought peace of mind.

Whenever I felt no movement out came the scanner.

I used that scanner every day till I my baby came.. it gave me the peace I so needed.

I am not saying everyone’s experiences is like mine.. this was mine.. this is just to say..

An IVF pregnancy is certainly different from natural pregnancy for some people.

My wish and prayer for Hannah is that she has her happy ending cos nothing else matters when you finally hold your baby in your arms. When you hear that first cry, when you look into her/his eyes and know that you beat infertility..

The feeling is indescribable..

You may be reading this and saying it’s all right for you you have your happy ending..

Look up Friend. Don’t be threatened by the storm..

I am one for not giving up. Imagine if Hannah stopped at the 5th, 8th, 10th, or 14th try.. the story will be different.

Of course finances plays a big part in how many times one can go back.. but do not fear..

Your path towards become a parent can take many routes explore your options and see what you are happy to do.

If you also feel you have come to the end and are happy with the decision to stop trying.. be at peace with that..

My sincere wish is that those still expecting and hoping will have their own happy ending.

Your partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Other related post

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/04/15/exploring-other-options-icsi/

https://faithfulwait.com/2017/10/11/surrogacy/

https://faithfulwait.com/2019/05/29/the-pain-of-miscarriage/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/07/17/the-uk-commissioning-groups-decides-who-gets-funding-for-ivf-there-are-some-factories-they-take-into-consideration-i-deciding-who-gets-funded-this-post-looks-the-criterial-for-funding/

Causes of Infertility In Men

I have previously written male infertility.

But I feel the need to revisit this topic again purely to educate my fellow African family.

Often some cultures attributes failure to conceive sorely to women.

It is not uncommon to blame the woman after a couples have been trying for years.

Often the men refuse to be tested claiming they are fine and have fathered children outside the home.

Men are proud and often ashamed to subject themselves to test as it is seen as not being macho.

A lot of men equate fertility with virility and sexual potency and it’s unfortunate as marriages and relations have broken up due to the refusal of the men to get tested.

Men refuse to seek help choosing to remain mum, even in cases where they know the fault is theirs.

They remain quiet for fear of being shamed by their families and peers and seen as less of a man.

This is unfortunate because the man is the only factor in about 8% of cases where infertility is suspected.

Common Causes of Infertility in Men.

Abnormal sperm: The sperm may have an unusual shape, making it harder to move and fertilize an egg.

Either problem with the testicles and in such cases this could be genetic or exposure to environmental factors or toxins.

Other causes are as a result of obesity and smoking.

drug use.

Certain types of medicines can sometimes cause infertility problem:

The following can cause infertility in men:

• sulfasalazine – an anti-inflammatory medicine used to treat conditions such as Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis; sulfasalazine can decrease the number of sperm,

• anabolic steroids – are often used to build muscle and improve athletic performance; long-term use can reduce sperm count and sperm mobility

chemotherapy – can sometimes severely reduce sperm production

• herbal remedies – such as root extracts of the Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii, can affect the production of sperm or reduce the size of your testicles

Other Illegal drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine, can also affect semen quality.

excessive alcohol in take, excessive exposure to high heat which can increase the temperature of the testicle leading to problems with sperm production. and tight clothing

If you are trying to get pregnant with your partner it is advisable to avoid or limit your use of hot bath and sauna.

Ejaculation disorders

Some men experience ejaculation problems that can make it difficult for them to release semen during sex (ejaculate).

Unexplained infertility

In the UK, unexplained infertility accounts for around 25% of cases of infertility. This is where no cause can be identified in either the woman or man.

Infertility tests for men

The doctor will ask the man about his medical history, medications, and sexual habits and carry out a physical examination. All the needed checks will be carried out to determine the cause of the infertility

• Semen analysis: A sample may be taken to test for sperm

• Blood test: The lab will test for levels of testosterone and other hormones.

• Ultrasound: This may reveal issues such as ejaculatory duct obstruction or retrograde ejaculation.

Chlamydia test: Chlamydia can affect fertility, but antibiotics can treat it.

Fertility treatments for men

Treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the infertility.

For premature ejaculation: Medication may help improve fertility.

• Varicocele: Surgically removing a varicose vein in the scrotum may help.

• Blockage of the ejaculatory duct: Sperm can be extracted directly from the testicles and injected into an egg in the laboratory.

Both the man and his partner may have to undergo assisted reproduction such as

IUI

IVF

ICSI

Sperm or egg donation

It is recommended that couples should seek help after 6 months of trying if the woman is over 40, and after a year if the woman is under 40 years of age.

So ditch the myth about fertility being a female only problem as tackle it together as a couple.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Read More »

The Pain Of Miscarriage.

I don’t want to talk about this as it reminds me of the pain I suffered due to two miscarriages.

You never forget the children you never had. Those lost in still birth or via miscarriage.

So when I learnt that my younger sister was had preeclampsia I prayed and waited, hoping that both she and the baby will somehow make it.

It was not to be. Sadly an emergency CS had to be done as it was clear her life was in danger.

She got married at 39, sadly she had a Broken relationship later in life which meant that she met her now husband at 39, she got pregnant almost immediately but, she suffered a loss at 12 weeks.

Then began the 3 year wait to get pregnant again, just as she was about to embark on fertility treatment she fell pregnant.

We were elated and watched as she blossomed. She was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia at 26 weeks.

Her blood pressure had raced through roof. Sadly this affected the placenta as a the baby was unable to get vita nutrients. At 28 weeks no heart beat was detected.

Miscarriage It a very lonely and isolated experience one only spoken about once we have a happy ending.

I spoke with her during and after it all. She was heart broken and confused, she was almost there. This pain is like on other.

After a few days she’s starting to come to the realisation that she’s not going to be a mum this year, that she will feel a pang of pain whenever she sees a pregnant woman.

She’s grateful for the encouragement she’s received so far.

I told her not to give up.

I asked the Lord to help heal and give her strength to ear the loss and replace her morning with dancing again.

She feels she should have done something different, anyone who’s suffered miscarriage feels this somehow.

Severe high blood pressure which was over of 190/120 is no ones fault I told her.

I am hopeful and pray that she will come through this somehow and have a happy ending eventually.

For he makes all things beautiful in His time.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Relevant post.

https://faithfulwait.com/2019/05/15/purpose-in-pain/

Purpose in Pain

Sometimes suffering takes us to a place we never expected and in the process we may find our true purpose.

Going through infertility led me where I am today, while I am still finding my purpose I can say i am on the right path.

I was touched recently on reading the stories of those whose fertility journey did not have the ending they hoped for.

Those who remained childless and gave up trying either for health reasons, age related reasons or the unbearable pain and heart ache infertility brought.

These all fought and have sadly ended their fight.

One friend I know decided to stop trying at 50, for health reasons. She had under gone lots of IVFs which left her health worse than when she began.

I first knew there was something special about her when we met.

There was always a smile behind her eyes masking years of pain. A tenderness about her that immediately puts everyone at easy, a softness in her look that speaks peace.

Her story of trying and failing ended with her having a deeper personal experience with her maker, she later got a job helping to care for sick babies. It was during a chance encounter that led her to what she called her true purpose.

Her job made her realise how deep human emotions runs and how useful she could be to humanity. She has channelled all her motherly love to tender and care for these little “Angels”.

Her job has strangely has brought peace and the hurt she felt is now replaced by sweetness and gentleness only those with a good spirit can boast of.

Her story may not have ended with a child but it continues and she found her true calling and purpose and in so doing found joy and worth.

Her pain led her here where she is today.

My encouragement-to you today is

to find your purpose in your pain. It may seem the furthest thing from your thoughts right now while facing infertility, miscarriage or loss of a child.

As you journey on, keep your eyes on the master, ask him for vision for the future and purpose in this pain.

There’s still hope, thought all may seem lost, keep your gaze on the master

His purposes will unfold in time.

Your partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Read More »

National Infertility week.

What you need to know before starting IVF

It is National Infertility week

I want to use this medium to highlight what couples “Must know” before embarking on a IVF.

I am incredibly grateful that I have my two kids, However, who knows maybe, I would have had them earlier had Icdone a little bit more research and knew what I know now.

This is why I decided to start this blog.

This post will talk about the important things anyone embarking on IVF should be aware of

Success Rate: it is medically known that a woman’s fertility drops sharply after 40. The Success rate for women using their. Own eggs drops to 15% in the early 40s and then to 5% in mid 40s or older.

It however doesn’t mean IVF won’t work, but it is important you know the success rate as it may take a little longer to conceive via IVF.

Recent statistics shows that while birthdate is decreasing for all groups of women it is increasing for over 40s thanks to the success of IVFs.

Other question to ask are and consider is the possibility of multiple pregnancies.

I wanted twins so badly, just so I can do it in one go and have the kids I do desire.

There is a higher chance of multiple births if multiple eggs are fertilised and transferred back into the womb.

Transferring more than one embryo is done to increase the chances of pregnancy. I had 2 fertilised embryos transferred but only one survived which is my first daughter.

IVF is not cheap, reasoning is to give more than one embryo the chance of implanting in the womb. Successful implantation May lead to multiple birth and financial savings in terms of needing more treatment for other pregnancies.

You should also find out about the process.

IVF Has fulfilled the dreams

of many couples, however it is not without its heart aches.

I had two failed cycles before my 3rd IVF, it is an incredibly emotional process. It is not stress free at all, but you must decide to find way to remain stress free.

I recalled during the two weeks of injection how sick I was, it was painful, I felt full all the time, hot flushes and bloated.

The first time my clinic offered no help or assistance but on my 3rd try I was given possible suggestions on what to do and an emergency contact number in case I needed to speak with someone.

Find out what your clinic offers. Some clinics offers one size fits all treatments, but everyone is different and have different medical diagnosis hence I believe IVF Should be tailored to meet each couple’s needs.

Talk to your doctor and find how what help is available to learn the side effects and reduce the stress faced during treatment.

Best wishes in your journey towards parenthood.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Related post

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/04/08/a-womans-dilemma-is-40-too-old/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/03/31/it-only-takes-one-egg/

https://faithfulwait.com/2017/04/26/national-infertility-week/

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/07/11/surviving-treatment/


Credits

Information in success rate of And rate from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

https://www.hfea.gov.uk/

Easter and Infertility.

The Lonely Journey of Infertility

When I think of the journey of  Jesus to the cross I realised how lonely it must have been for him.

The process leading to the Cross was one of shame.

He felt abandoned by His father,

He felt  alone as His most trusted friends ran for their lives.

No one wanted to be associated with Him for fear of being killed.

In that moment, when he faced death and breath His last, he asked His father why he was abandoned.

The more I speak to those who have walked or currently on this journey of waiting, the more it becomes apparent how lonely it can get. The notion that there is a community out there seem remote.

Infertility is still a lonely journey.

No one to talk to, fear of being stigmatised, the feeling of shame causes us to bottle it up than open up to anyone.

I am particularly drawn to the two women who went to anoint his body, and wondered who will rolled the stone away. There was an obstacle at the entrance of the tomb, A Stone.

Who will roll away the stone?

The stone is big, two women alone can’t rolled it a way. It will take more than 2 women to roll it away. Who will roll away the stone?

You may be asking yourself right now:

Who will take away this pain of trying?

How will this end?

Will I ever have a child?

But we know how the story ends, although it seemed liked death had won, at the time he was nailed to the cross and put in the tomb.

When he got up on Easter Sunday, truly, God’s purpose for the suffering he endured was unfolded.

Be encouraged by the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, you may have a stone like problem right now.

Just as the miracle of resurrection happened all those years ago, you will experience a miracle of birth, you too will rise up from the ashes of infertility to new life.

Trust in him, hope in Him, call on Him and you will have help.

A stone like problem? Give it to Jesus.

Happy Easter

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Related reading

https://faithfulwait.com/2017/12/05/infertility-a-lonely-journey/

https://faithfulwait.com/2017/12/03/comfort-joy-in-the-mist-of-infertility/

https://faithfulwait.com/2017/07/25/keeping-hope-alive/

I Remember

Today I remember a time when I celebrated birthdays without a child.

When no one made a card for me with scrap papers, scribbled writings and drawings that bears no resemblance to me..

When all I had was a kind and loving husband who will give me the world just to dull the pain of childlessness.

Today, I call to mind those days and it is hard to think back.

I had to pull up pictures of my days without kids. When each birthday I said a little prayer

“Lord let this be the year”..

Today I smile because this day this very moment. I am on top of the world, I am blessed with two beautiful girls.

Today, I heard a sound in my downstairs study and went to investigate

As I opened the door, my six year old screamed

“Mummy you can’t come in”. She was serious, so I retreated.

I knew what she was doing, I caught a glimpse of her making a birthday card for me.

A few minutes later big sister joined her and she called out “mummy whatever you do, DO NOT COME INTO THE STUDY”!

Ok I replied.

I observed as they tiptoed around the house to get items for their cards.

It warmed my heart.

My two little blessings with love in their heart making a birthday card for me.

There is no greater joy.

So today I celebrate with a heart filled with joy and gratitude for this wonderful blessing.

Today I pray for you, that you will come to know the joy of motherhood, that soon the ache you feel will be replaced by pangs of labour.

Your tears will be of joy and unspeakable blessings on beholding your child.

So do not give up.

Do not despair

Do not fear.

This is a journey that will end with rainbows in the skies.

Look up child, soon your blessings will make this wait worth it.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Post to Note

https://faithfulwait.com/2019/03/26/trust-and-joy-in-the-mist-of-pain/

https://faithfulwait.com/2019/03/30/i-see-you/

https://faithfulwait.com/2019/02/24/strengthened-not-faulty/

I See You

I may not have you in my arms

But I carry you in my heart

With each passing day

I see the image of you

Wrapped in beautiful cloth.

A sweet smile etched on your faces

I see you walking

I see you running

I see us do all the things mother and child do

Though others may not see what I see

Of this I am sure

I see the future with you in it.

I see you grow and become a fine human

And I see the day I will look back on the past and be thankful

I waited for you.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi


Related pieces

https://faithfulwait.com/2019/03/10/identity/

https://faithfulwait.com/2019/03/26/trust-and-joy-in-the-mist-of-pain/