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Daphne’s Diary: My Egg Freezing Consultation With Spring Fertility

Daphne Thompson | October 24, 2021

Since I first launched this column, I’ve preached that “knowledge is power,” affirming time and time again that we all need to be active participants in our reproductive health care to best set ourselves and our future families up for success. I have been motivated by the idea of being proactive in protecting my fertility and my body years before I actually hope to use it to become pregnant (let’s call it “family planning-ahead”). But that’s exactly it – up until this point, it’s only been an idea. In reality, I’ve changed very little about my lifestyle and have gained no additional information as to what I’m working with down there… in part because I’ve been afraid of what I might learn.

When Spring Fertility invited me to come into their brand new space in my hometown New York City for a consult, I knew I had to take them up on the offer. Spring Fertility combines science and patient-centric care models to support people through fertility preservation, egg freezing, IVF, and more. Staffed with top-of-their-field medical professionals who have “been there” as parents and spouses themselves, Spring strives to (and succeeds at!) empowering couples and individuals of all kinds through their family planning journeys, recognizing that no two paths to parenthood look exactly the same.

My current relationship with my reproductive health exists in a space where, while I do NOT want a baby now or any time soon, I desperately hope it will be easy for me to have one in 5-7 years. It’s a space I occupy alongside many of my peers – but none of us are talking about it. So, my personal goals when I stepped into Spring Fertility’s gorgeous Bryant Park location were to engage in dialogue free from potential stigma and judgment, have a better understanding of my fertility as it exists right now, soothe any self-inflicted anxieties about the state of my uterus and ovaries, and learn how and when egg freezing could be a useful tool in fighting back against my biological clock (should I need t0).

My consult at Spring Fertility started with Dr. Catha Fischer and I knew from the moment I stepped into her office that this was the experience I’ve been needing. I learned more about my body, my reproductive health, and my hypothetical future family in an hour with Catha than I have in 10 years worth of appointments with my gynecologist. Not only did she explain fertility preservation and the egg freezing process in a way that my humanities-minded self could wrap her brain around, but she also took the time to get to know me personally to “meet me where I’m at” on the reproductive continuum. She gave me sorely-needed context around the PMS symptoms that have seriously been stressing me out for the last two years, corrected my misconceptions around “evaluating” fertility, and reassured me that, whether I choose to freeze my eggs or try to conceive “the old-fashioned way” in my early-mid 30s, I have time (that being said, she also made it clear that egg freezing is most successful when it’s done by or before your early 30s and that the age I’m at now would be an ideal time for egg retrieval).

In addition to our conversation, which felt in equal parts like a science class, therapy session, and gossip with an old friend, my consult gave me concrete information about my health that I didn’t have previously. A transvaginal ultrasound showed me what my uterus and ovaries look like and confirmed that everything is where and how it should be, and bloodwork kept me up-to-date on my reproductive health and overall wellness by testing my AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) levels and screening for any illnesses/abnormal results that could impact fertility or pregnancy down the line. Taking into consideration my family medical history, I even made the decision (with Catha’s support and caring guidance) to do genetic carrier testing – which, for me, feels like the most effective way to stay ahead of any potential health issues that could impact me or my future children one day.

After my appointment, the team at Spring Fertility followed up with a number of documents around fertility preservation and egg freezing, clearly outlining what the investment would be in terms of cost, time, recovery, etc. I was most surprised to learn that one whole egg-freezing cycle really only takes about two weeks (plus two weeks of preparation). While egg freezing doesn’t feel “right” for me and where I’m at in my life at the moment, I take a lot of comfort in knowing that whenever I need them in the future, Spring Fertility will be there, ready to empower me through the process.

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Daphne's Diary: My Headspace Around 'Growing Up' & the Passage of Time
The DOULA EXPO by Mama Glow: Join Us for Our First Festival For Birth Workers