Egg freezing (catherio’s info)
Author: Catherine Olsson / “catherio” 
This document can be found at
  • (Note: Please do not “Archive” this doc, it archives it for everyone!)

(Disclaimer: I am a patient, not a medical provider. This information is based on my own personal situation; your own situation may differ substantially from mine.)

Here’s a writeup of some information I collected - and wish I had known - over the course of the egg freezing process.

You’re welcome to share this writeup any way you would like!

Comments and questions are also welcome. I would be especially excited for folks to contribute lessons from their own experiences!

I first give my overall verdict about the process, namely:

  1. Everyone with ovaries/uterus and a non-zero interest in having kids with their own gametes should do at least a fertility consultation.
  1. For me, the experience overall was physically about as taxing as having a very bad cold and cost a few thousand dollars, in exchange for a “>90% chance of 1 kid” card, which I think was very worth it for me.
  1. UPDATE: I also now in retrospect think that my period cramps got slightly (+20%?) more severe in a typical month in an ongoing way, and I had two instances of VERY severe cramps (though that problem has not recurred). Research is scarce on long-term risks of egg extraction.

The rest of the document describes a few important lessons I learned over the process:
  • Lesson 1: Fertility declines after 35
  • Lesson 2: You can check your fertility numbers
  • Lesson 3: Consultation → extraction can take a long time, depending on clinic 
  • Lesson 4: You might need multiple cycles
  • Lesson 5: Freezing eggs is usually an “85% chance of 1 kid” card
  • Lesson 6: Ovaries go from walnut- to orange-sized
  • Lesson 7: No strenuous exercise! 😱
  • Lesson 8: Injections are annoying, but you can do things to make them better
  • Lesson 9: Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome is a *fluid balance* problem
  • Lesson 10: Ask what protocol you’re on!
  • Lesson 11: Minimize commute time to your clinic
  • Lesson 12: You can use COBRA for this if you changed jobs and lost fertility benefits
  • Lesson 13: You can look up success rates
  • Lesson 14: Choose a time window when you can tolerate schedule disruption

Overall verdict - is it worth it?

My recommendation is that if you have ovaries/uterus and a non-zero interest in having kids with your own gametes you should do at least a fertility consultation, to get detailed information about your personal ovarian reserve. (See Lesson 2 for more about that)

As for egg freezing: personally in my estimation, proceeding with egg freezing might makes sense for you if some combination of these factors is true:

  1. You learn from your consultation that your ovarian reserve is unusually low for your age, or you’re approaching 30 without specific plans to have kids, or you already know you’ll prefer to have your last kid in your late 30s or in your 40s
  1. You’re okay with a 5% chance of medical complications
  1. You have some way to make ~$15k not be a large financial burden (such as specific fertility benefits), or having kids with your own gametes is a very important part of your vision for your future such that it’s worth the cost anyway.

For me personally:
  1. I had a high-ish number of resting follicles (37 follicles), so no worries there, but at the same time, I’m turning 29 this year and I don’t want kids anytime soon.
  1. My large number of follicles put me at higher risk of complications, but my doctor selected a protocol that minimized the risks.
  1. I was covered by Progyny fertility insurance through Google, which is a policy similar to ordinary medical insurance, thereby requiring me to hit my deductible, then pay 10% over that, capped at my out-of-pocket maximum.