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Preparing For Egg Freezing By Ro Huntriss

Preparing For Egg Freezing By Ro Huntriss

Egg freezing is the fastest-growing fertility treatment and has emerged as a transformative option for women looking to preserve their fertility. There are many reasons why a woman may pursue egg freezing, from career pursuits and relationship reasons to medical circumstances. Whatever the reason, careful consideration should be taken to understand the process, what it entails, and what preparation can help you to achieve optimal outcomes. 

This blog will explore the process, as well as how diet, lifestyle, and supplement changes help you navigate and prepare for optimal outcomes.

Understanding the process

The process of egg freezing can feel daunting or overwhelming at first however understanding what it entails and how to prepare can help you to manage the process and take back some control.

My first port of call to understand more about egg freezing was the Human Fertilisation Embryology (HFEA) website. This is also a good place to find a licensed and experienced fertility clinic that offers the service near you. Thankfully, because I worked in the fertility space, I had a good understanding of the general process, and for those that are less familiar, I think it’s worth taking the time to full explore the journey and what it entails to understand whether you feel it’s the right thing for you.

Egg collection is the same as the first step of IVF and it involves taking medication to stimulate the ovaries to develop multiple eggs and help them to mature. Once the eggs are mature enough they are then collected during a medical procedure whilst you are under sedation. If you were pursuing IVF, the eggs would then be fertilised with sperm to create an embryo. With egg freezing, any mature eggs that are collected will be frozen using a cryoprotectant and stored for use at a later date.

At what age should I do egg-freezing? 

Egg freezing is an attractive option as it allows a woman's eggs to be frozen when they are younger, preserving their quality. If eggs are frozen below the age of 35, the chances of success using these frozen eggs is higher than the natural conception rate as a woman gets older. The ideal time to freeze eggs is in your 20s, or early 30s when egg quality and ovarian reserve are higher however this doesn't mean it can’t be done at an older age. As much as freezing eggs before the age of 35 may be recommended, sometimes, life doesn’t work out that way and people may need to consider egg freezing a little bit later. I ended up freezing my eggs at the age of 37 due to a change in circumstance, but I was able to optimise my AMH and AFC and ultimately I got results I was happy with. 

While egg freezing can offer a better chance of a successful pregnancy in the future it is important to note that this is not a guarantee.

Preparing for optimal outcomes Being armed with knowledge can be powerful. Knowing what you can do to support your chances of success can have a positive effect on your overall experience of the egg-freezing process as well as the outcome.

Our diet, lifestyle, and supplements can influence both the quality of our eggs as well as our ovarian reserve, meaning that optimising these before an egg-freezing cycle could positively impact your outcomes.

Diet and supplements

Eggs take 3 months to mature so we have a window of opportunity where we can influence their quality. Research shows that following a Mediterranean-style diet can positively influence oocyte (egg) numbers. This style of eating is packed with antioxidant-rich foods that support egg quality such as fruit and vegetables, plant-based protein, healthy fats and whole grains.

Taking a good quality prenatal supplement can also be of benefit in the lead-up to egg freezing. Incorporating a daily prenatal supplement into your routine can support markers of ovarian reserve such as anti-müllerian hormone (AMH) levels. Having a higher ovarian reserve increases the chance of more eggs being collected.

When choosing a prenatal supplement, opt for one that contains multiple key antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin E, vitamin C and selenium which play a role in supporting egg quality. Proceive Women was one of the supplements I took to prepare me for egg freezing. I chose it because it contains optimal levels of important fertility-supporting nutrients in a highly absorbable form, to complement my dietary intake - I also found it really easy to take in supplement form. Proceive Max Women is also a great option, it contains higher levels of the antioxidants vitamin E and vitamin C that contribute to the protection of cells from oxidative stress - this is in a powder form.

In the lead-up to my egg-freezing cycle, I followed an evidence-based diet, lifestyle and supplement regime. Although ovarian reserve can be influenced by many things, I was lucky to find that my ovarian reserve markers had increased by 40% compared with the test I had done the previous year which goes to show the potential impact of my diet, supplement and lifestyle changes.

Lifestyle

Our lifestyle can also impact the outcomes of egg freezing. Creating health habits and sticking to them is key, my top tips include:

Emotional preparation

Whatever your reasons for choosing this route, the egg-freezing journey can be an emotional one. There can be an array of emotions such as excitement, worry, and fear all rolled into one.

Having a strong support system around you can really help. I was lucky to have support from close friends and a good friend was able to accompany me on my egg retrieval day. Talking to friends and family about what you are going through helps take some of the emotional weight off your shoulders. If you need extra help at any point, don't hesitate to seek out the support of a therapist or counsellor that specialises in fertility.

I am also a big believer in the power of mindset, embracing the choice you have made to take control of your body and your future.

Conclusion

By educating yourself, adopting healthy lifestyle habits, and nurturing your emotional well-being, you can approach the egg-freezing journey with confidence and empowerment. Remember, egg freezing is not just about preserving fertility; it's about taking control of your reproductive future and embracing the possibilities that lie ahead. I was able to have a positive experience and so can you.

Ro Huntriss

Specialist Fertility Dietician

https://dietitianro.co.uk/

@dieticianro

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