My Egg Freezing Initial Consult Experience
My current relationship with my fertility exists in a space where, while I do not want to start a family now, I truly hope it will be easy for me to build one in my mid-30s, as currently planned. It’s an uncomfortable in-between I know I’m far from alone in occupying, but one that often feels hard to talk about freely with my family, or friends, or partner. After all, high school health class made it seem like having sex even once would certainly result in pregnancy, when the reality is that at our peak fertility (in our early 20s), the monthly chance of pregnancy is only 25% — a percentage that steadily decreases with age. That statistic, paired with my knowledge that 1 in 6 couples will deal with fertility-related issues while trying to conceive, has made “the f word” (fertility) an ever-nagging place in my mind as I daydream about the future I’ve always envisioned for myself.
So, my personal goals when I stepped into Spring Fertility New York City for an initial fertility consult 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 decide to). Spring Fertility combines science and a patient-centric care model to support people through egg freezing, IVF, family-building using donor eggs or sperm, 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!) empower couples and individuals of all kinds through their family planning journeys, giving individualized care that recognizes no two paths to parenthood look the same. As a native New Yorker, I appreciate the thought that’s gone into how they schedule patient appointments — if fertility treatment is a part of your plan, it doesn’t have to take time and energy away from all of the other aspects of your life if you don’t want it to.
My consultation at Spring Fertility NYC 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 Dr. Fischer than I have in over 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” when I’m ready, she and the rest of the Spring team will be there to support me.
In addition to our conversation, which felt in equal parts like a science class, therapy session, and catch-up with an old friend, my consultation 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 Dr. Fischer’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 egg-freezing cycle really only takes about two weeks (plus two weeks of preparation), and encouraged by Spring’s no-interest payment plan (which basically costs the same as a high-end gym membership). My initial consultation armed me with knowledge I didn’t even know I was missing to make fully informed decisions about my body and my future. I am so grateful to know that, thanks to my fertility preservation options, I can do and be everything I’ve ever dreamed of — and that coveted title of “Mom” will still be there for me when I’m ready for it.