Former It Girl, Lady Victoria Hervey, 41, shared her egg freezing story as she recently had six eggs frozen in a clinic. She has been very frank about how desperate she is to have a child of her own. Lady Victoria is one of the thousands of women in the UK, and around the world that is undergoing the egg freezing procedure. She wants to open up about it to help break the stigma attached to egg-freezing since it is quite controversial. She also hopes by the end of the month to produce another six eggs that can be frozen.
The cost of the procedure is about $15,000 and because she had it done at 41, she worries that it was done too late. A woman’s egg quality has been shown to decline dramatically by age 40 and beyond, but she is desperate for a child and doesn’t want her biological clock to run out before she meets the right man to be a father to her children.
Egg-freezing has been described as the biggest fertility breakthrough since the pill, and it is still unknown how effective it truly is because it is still quite new. Society doesn’t like the idea of freezing time for motherhood, and that is why there is a stigma. It is still believed that women should have kids when they are young, but sometimes circumstances such as career or not being ready to have kids during the optimal childbearing ages or not finding the right man get into the way. In some situations, women want to freeze eggs because they are afraid of going through early menopause if their mothers did. And it is not always possible for women to have kids in their 20’s and early 30’s. Society scoffs at women in their late 40’s and 50’s and even older giving birth.
Lady Victoria has not found the right man, and she was not ready to settle down when she was younger. She wanted her freedom but wants to be a mother as well. She also said that many older men are fathers like her father who turned 61 on the day she was born. So why not women?
Then it got to a point when her friends and her sister Isabella had kids, and the yearning for kids of her own grew more.
However, because she has not found the man of her dreams yet, she didn’t want to focus on that and instead do something practical about taking steps to make her dreams to become a mom come true without waiting for her man. That is when she decided on freezing her eggs.
She understands that there is no guarantee that freezing her eggs would end up working since she has seen friends slightly older than her suffer from having unsuccessful IVF attempts with their frozen eggs.
She said the egg-freezing procedure is very expensive and emotionally and physically draining. She said pre-testing cost her $1.500, and then the procedure was $7,700. There was also $5,000 for medication and $600 for one year’s storage. It adds up close to $15,000 to do this procedure, but she did not want to let that get in the way of doing this. After all, she’s a Lady – so why not?
She had to have blood work done so the levels of her hormones could be assessed, then had ultrasounds. She was happy to see that her ovaries and uterus looked good, and they would be able to do the procedure. Then she started taking daily injections to mature her follicles, and she said the drugs she was on made her body think it was pregnant.
She had cravings and was highly emotional, and was very tired from the drugs. She had to be on a strict diet and had to cut out alcohol, chocolate, smoking, dairy, and sugar while her eggs were maturing.
By the 13th day of her cycle, her eggs were retrieved and she was under a general anesthetic for the retrieval. She had 6 eggs retrieved and she knows that not every egg will survive the freezing process, and may not even be viable. However, she is going through this again this month.
However, she hopes to find someone so she can be pregnant at 45 (or before) because even though she desperately wants to become a mother, she doesn’t want to become a very old mother. So what will she do if her dream guy doesn’t show up before she is 45? Will she have donor sperm and become a single parent? Only she will figure it out if time is running out and there are no men in the immediate future.
When she opened up about what she did on Facebook, she was pleased to know how she was not alone whereas other women said to her that they had banked up their eggs in the past but kept quiet about it. Why did they keep quiet about it? Was it due to the fear of being judged like it was already discussed due to the stigma attached to egg-freezing?
The stigma has to be broken because things are changing over time. Women are having babies later because they are focusing on their careers, their lives, and want to travel, and so on. However, women are concerned about waiting too long as well due to the risks of getting pregnant at an older age. They are worried about possibly going through menopause young, especially if their mothers did.
Egg-freezing may become the norm in 15-20 years from now for this reason alone. There are still plenty of women having babies in their 20’s and early 30’s but most of them do not have a career. Having a career is important to more and more women, and it is important that they live their lives because they will become more patient and overall better mothers if they don’t feel they had missed anything in their lives.
Lady Victoria did a great thing by being vocal and open about her egg-freezing experiences, and her reasons for doing it in the first place. We wish her the best luck for when she is able to start having the children of her dreams successfully because she made the right choice by undergoing this procedure.