Fertility preservation - what's involved?

Sevenbe Member Posts: 27
edited September 2016 in Health and wellbeing

Hi everyone. I'm 33 and was diagnosed a few weeks ago. I don't have children and for most of my life I've never wanted them, but I've never completely 100% ruled them out either. It's been suggested that I should consider having some eggs or embryos frozen. But I'm not sure it's a route I want to go down. I've had friends who got IVF and it seemed like a pretty involved process and a lot of hassle for a pretty uncertain result.

Has anyone here had eggs frozen? What was involved? How much does it cost to keep them? How long can you keep them for? Did you use them later?



  • P2T
    P2T Member Posts: 68
    edited August 2016

    Hey SEVENB

    I took the doctors advice to freeze embryos before chemo....unfortunately I didn't have much time and it was unsuccessful. I don't feel like it was that invasive, I just had to do 2 needles a day and then go in for the procedure....everyone was incredibly kind and supportive, especially considering our circumstance.

    I've just turned 42 and have the sperm donor on ice still to try when I am strong and well again. I went through the public system and there were some costs involved however costs are cut significantly because of the cancer to help us.

    It's definitely worth having a talk to the fertility specialist they offer through the hospital....at least you have a higher chance if u decide to go down that path.

    Hope this helps. x

  • jd48
    jd48 Member Posts: 484
    edited August 2016

    I think it would be best to speak to the specialists at the Hospital that is looking after you or even with the breast care nurse who may be able to advise on your options and / or who else may be able to help with advice...

    I am 45.now and was diagnosed 6 months ago.  No kids as when I was younger never really pursued it as was not sire if I wanted them and frankly felt that medically and financially was not ready.

    By the time I was ready it was a bit late as was almost 40 and then it never happened for me. Lost one pregnancy and then nothing afterwards and then BC so now that door is closed for me.

    One thing to think about I guess is if you feel that the genetic link to the kids is important for you if you decide you do want them as if it is you need to pursue the egg freezing now... If not there is always the option of adopting or using a donor egg later on or even surrogacy...

    I do believe as it is such an emotional and frankly diffocult decision to make with some very permanent consequences it is worth while talking with a few different sopecialists to help you get a kot of information so you can make an educated decision thag is right for you...


  • WillowSurvived
    WillowSurvived Member Posts: 0
    edited August 2016

    I was diagnosed at 32, now 33. Because of my age and not yet having had kids I was referred to the fertility clinic before treatment. I think it was $5K for them to freeze eggs and embryos for 10yrs(?) But don't quote me as it was a year ago. My partner and I had only been together 18mths when I was diagnosed so I thought it strange to do embryos. I seriously considered freezing eggs. When I was diagnosed and the fear of dying hit me, not having had kids was certainly a regret in my life. In the end I decided that if I'm meant to it will come naturally. I'm not feeling medically ready yet and I think now my partner is secretly afraid of cancer coming back and leaving him a single parent, and I too wonder if it would be irresponsible. That may sound pessimistic but I'm one to trust my feelings at the time, and if I feel differently later I'll have to forgive myself. I'd say do what you feel is right for you, which I'm sure you know in your heart. Trust yourself.

    All the best xo

  • Sevenbe
    Sevenbe Member Posts: 27
    edited August 2016

    Thanks Willow. It's nice to hear of someone else struggling with these decisions.

    My husband and I have been together for 7 years, married for 2, and I couldn't really see myself having kids with anyone else, so embryos makes sense for us. I don't think I'd have felt that way when we'd only been together 18 months though, so I really feel you there.

    I hadn't even thought about the possibility of the cancer coming back after children and leaving him as a single parent. That's a sobering thought. But I suppose leaving a little person to carry on after we're gone is part of why lots of people have children, so I don't think it's irresponsible, so long as he's okay with it. But I think you're right about trusting your feelings at the time and just forgiving yourself later if those feelings change. Sometimes things happen and sometimes they don't. A big part of life is learning to make the best of the hand you're dealt.

    All that said, I think I've decided to go for it in the end. I'm still not sure if I'll ever use them, but I'm feeling more "maybe" than "definitely not." I figure this way I'll at least maybe have some options if I feel more confident about wanting them in the future.

  • Karen T
    Karen T Member Posts: 95
    Hi Sevenbe,

    I was 34 when diagnosed so was referred to a fertility specialist. 
    I must say for me the fertility part was more stressful than the cancer treatment simply due to already being overwhelmed with the cancer info then swept up into a whirlwind of extra tests. This was because where I was in my cycle left little time to attempt for egg harvest before I started chemo. If I had a bit more time to process and ask questions I am sure it wouldnt have been so horrible :)
    I couldnt have any injections to stimulate eggs due to my cancer type so had to rely on catching one egg which would naturally be released. This ment a lot of blood tests and internal ultrasounds to monitor the then advised on a surgery date from this monitoring.
    On the day they missed catching my one egg but they as a back up had advised on removing a part of one ovary for freezing.  This is a new technique which is showing a lot of potential though I honestly cant remember much info about it all.  Essentially they place the frozen part of your ovary back into your abdomen somewhere (when you are ready to try for a child), it 'awakens' then you can use those eggs for IVF. 
    The good aspect of this is these eggs are always going to be the eggs of a 34 year old. The bad part is you still need to do IVF with them.

    In regards to if they had of caught my egg.  To create an embryo you have to go to a counseling session AND get a police check completed to show that you would be a responsible parent.  Yup.  All that for a frozen embryo that might never get used.

    I dont remember how much this all cost but it wasnt cheap.  I figured I would rather spend some money than have any regrets down the track.
    I do know what I pay to keep my girly bit on ice though! $180 equals 6 months storage.
    On my bill in bold it states:
    'Please note that embryos can only be stored for a maximum of 5 years and eggs and ovarian tissue for a maximum of 10 years unless a prior extension of storage time has been approved'

    I hope this ramble has helped a little.
    All the best with what ever you decide to do on this front and your treatment ahead xo