My experience of egg freezing
After finishing her cancer treatment, Tegan decided to undergo fertility preservation to increase her chance of having children in the future.
When I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma just before my 18th birthday, I was told that my fertility might be affected by the treatment. I had to sign a waiver to say I understood that I might not be able to have kids in the future because of it. My mum cried but I couldn’t understand why because I never thought about having kids at that age.
I found it difficult seeing friends starting to have children, because you want to go through life events with each other and share those experiences. Having children is a life event that I could potentially miss out on if my fertility is impacted by cancer treatment. It’s hard to think about. You look at others and their happy families and how great their child is, but there is that little like voice in the back of your head that says, ‘that might never be me.’
Once I was cancer-free, I decided to go through the process to have my eggs frozen, which would mean I could use IVF in the future if needed. I had to do daily hormone injections at home to encourage eggs to grow and kept track of them in a diary.
On day eight of the treatment, I had a scan at the hospital to see if the hormones were working. I didn’t feel like it went that well and it just got really overwhelming. There were only two eggs and the other six follicles that should have been producing eggs weren’t. I was booked into another scan to see if the follicles had started to produce anything. If they didn’t, it would mean having to stop treatment and look at other options.
After my next scan, the doctors could see more eggs growing. I was so happy to have a much more positive result after the painful injections. The doctors wanted me to produce as many eggs as possible to increase the chances of me getting pregnant in the future.
A few days later, I got a call to tell me that they were going to remove my eggs to freeze them. I was very pleased to be done with the hormone injections. I won’t miss them!
I always try and spin stuff in a positive way and take the positives out of an experience. During the egg freezing process, I was questioning whether it was even worth it. I felt awful and hormonal, and my face was all spotty, but actually at the end of it I thought, “really? Was it that bad?” And the good news is the doctors were able to retrieve ten eggs to be frozen for me to revisit in the future if I need them.
If you have any questions after reading Tegan’s story you should speak to your care team.
If you would like more information and support on fertility issues then the following organisations can be really helpful: