Many of us have heard of oocyte cryopreservation (egg cell freezing) because of how popular it's become among famous personalities in recent years. Sofia Vergara from the hit TV show Modern Family, pop singer Rita Ora and Celine Dion have all undergone the procedure, certainly not because it was trendy, but because it assures that no matter what may happen to them in the meantime, they'll still have the opportunity to reproduce using their own eggs and have their own biological children sometime in the future.
Human oocyte cryopreservation is a process where a woman's eggs are extracted and preserved for potential future use. The treatment originated in the 1960s as an experiment concerning the eggs of various non-human mammals. It has since evolved to incorporate human eggs and grown in popularity as word of the procedure continues to spread.
Egg freezing didn't really start to become well-known until 2014, when some of the world's top tech companies, Apple, Facebook, and Google, began announcing they would be offering egg freezing for their female employees as part of their benefits package.
The success of oocyte cryopreservation is highly dependent on age, as the number and quality of eggs extracted are greatly influenced by the age of the woman involved. There is a fertility timeline with different rates of successful live births among females of the following age brackets:
Age 30 and under: At least 12 eggs are required to have a 65% to 85% chance of a successful pregnancy.
Age 31 - 35: : 12 to 24 eggs are required to have the same 65% to 85% chance of a successful conception.
Age 35 and older: 24 eggs or more are required to have the same 65% to 85% chance of a successful conception.
The bottom line is that the younger you are, the better the quality of your eggs and the higher the chance of success. In some ways it's also less expensive because of the lower number of eggs you need to produce.
Your doctor will first determine the quality and quantity of your eggs through Ovarian Reserve Testing. There will be a screening for any infectious diseases you might be carrying. Your doctor will monitor your progress during the preparation stages by conducting multiple blood testings and ultrasound procedures. You will be injected with hormones to stimulate your ovaries to produce more eggs, prevent premature ovulation and help the eggs mature.
Once the eggs are ready, there is a retrieval process where you will be sedated while your doctor retrieves your eggs from its follicles. Immediately following the retrieval of your eggs, they will be stored in a freezer at subzero temperatures along with certain cryoprotectant substances that help to preserve eggs over an extended period. At this point, you'll need to rest for an entire week before resuming your regular activities.
Advantages of Egg Freezing:
You can postpone becoming a mother until you feel you're ready.
You will have more freedom to focus on your career and other important life choices because of the significantly reduced pressure you'll face with respect to having children while you're still young. With oocyte cryopreservation you're eggs remain young and healthy even after several years in the freezer.
If you need to undergo certain medical procedures, such as chemotherapy, which can negatively affect fertility and the ability to reproduce naturally, freezing your eggs in advance of the treatment will enable you to have children regardless of the outcome.
You can donate your eggs should you never choose to use them, or simply have them discarded.
Egg freezing can function as a “pregnancy insurance" of sorts if other females in your bloodline have tended to enter into menopause prematurely.
Not 100% successful in every situation. In fact, the odds of a successful pregnancy resulting after egg freezing still remain relatively low, all things considered.
While rare, egg freezing can potentially present a few fairly serious health risks.
Time-consuming. Numerous visits to the doctor are required throughout the entire preparation period.
It's expensive. At best, the procedure will cost several thousands of dollars, and at worst, if multiple attempts are required, as they often are, the costs can easily climb upwards of $30,000.
Frozen eggs have a lower success rate than embryo freezing or eggs that are fresh from the womb.
We are living in a time when women are rising to new heights which means they are regularly being confronted with the fear of being "too much". For women in business this is pervasive and costly.
A few ways women can be perceived as "too much" are:
Speaking up about their successes and achievements.
Sharing one too many photos of their cute kids.
Telling one too many people about that date night.
Looking a little too good in that swimsuit.
These can lead to being publicly attacked on social media or privately slandered which in turn leads to women dimming their light and walking on egg shells in hopes of avoiding conflict and judgement.
The minute a woman feels it's unsafe to shine she will begin to overthink, worry, and fear how she shows up in the world.
Forgetting to announce the book is done and the interview is live.
Choosing to focus on what's still on the to-do list rather than what's been checked off.
Many female entrepreneurs are subconsciously altering their behavior in an attempt to not attract too much attention to themselves, rather than focusing on allowing authenticity and magnetism to attract their ideal clients and community.
Women are afraid of being criticized, ostracized, and abandoned by other women for simply being who they are. This leads to quite the quantum when being who you are is simplest way to accelerate the growth of your business.
New research shows men are far more comfortable with self promotion than women are. Researchers found that men rate their own performance 33 percent higher than equally performing women. What we know is that self promotion pays off and this is where women are missing the boat.
The world needs more women to step into leadership roles and no longer be intimidated about creating six and seven figure careers.
Here are five ways to release the fear of being "too much":
1. Approve of yourself.
While it feels good to receive outside validation it will never be enough if you don't first appreciate yourself. The key to having a healthy support system is to make sure you are part of it. Being your biggest critic is what your mother's generation did. It's now time to be your biggest cheerleader. Becoming aware of self talk will reveal what belief is ready to be re-wired. Create a simply mantra that affirms how incredible capable you are.
2. Connect deeply to those you serve.
One powerful way to shift out of people pleasing behavior is to get clear on who actually matters to the wellbeing and success of your life and business. Leadership is not about being the most popular, instead it's a decision to be brave for those who can't be. Take a few minutes each day to visualize and meditate on those your business serves and supports. See your future clients moving toward you every time you choose to stand in your power and use your authentic voice.
3. Remember the legacy you wish to leave.
Having your life purpose and legacy in writing is one of the most transformational exercises you can do. Reading this often will keep you focused on what matters. Knowing what you wish to leave in the hearts of those you love most is incredibly grounding. You didn't come here to keep your mouth shut, dilute your truth, or dim your light-you came here to make a difference.
4. Forgive those who have been unsupportive in the past.
The past has a way of informing the future in a negative way when there is unresolved pain. Take a few minutes to get quiet and ask yourself who you have unforgiveness towards or maybe their name came to mind as you read this article. Listening to a forgiveness meditation or writing a letter to the person you are ready to forgive are both simple and effective ways to process and heal.
5. Be part a community of bright, successful women.
Meaningful relationships with others who have similar aspirations is what will keep you out of isolation and playing small. These connections can happen in a networking group, online community or a local Meetup. Thriving in every area of life is depend on you knowing where you belong and being celebrated there. Don't wait to be invited, go actively seek out people and places that support your dreams and desires.
6. Accept you can have it all.
Women have been fed a lie for generations that says, you can have love or money. Decide you can have it all and allow it to flow to you. You can have a successful career and an amazing mother. You can balance motherhood and loving marriage. Don't let anyone write the rules for you. This is the time to create the life you desire on your terms.
7. Celebrate everything!
The fastest way to leave the haters in the dust is to celebrate everything! At the end of each day lay in bed and recall the best moments. At the end of each week, publicly acknowledge and celebrate what's good in your life. Once a month, have a celebration dinner and share it with those who have helped you in the journey. If there's something good happening, talk about it with everyone who will listen!
May you be a woman who chooses to shine so that others may be reminded of all they can be and do.