Egg freezing. It’s probably something you’ve heard of before: But what is it, and how does it work?
At a basic level, it’s a method of fertility preservation in order for women to have viable eggs available later.
It has become a popular choice among women for many reasons, whether they’re focused on their education or career, or waiting to find the right partner. It offers the chance to have a child later on in life.
That’s exactly what Natalie Grunberg did. At 37, she had a fulfilling career as a teacher as well as a busy social schedule, but like many women in their thirties, she hadn’t found the right partner to have a child with.
“I felt the clock ticking faster after 35, and decided I needed to take my fertility into my own hands, and that’s when I decided to freeze my eggs. I felt like I was taking control of my future,” Natalie says when asked about her choice to undergo the procedure.
While the egg freezing process is the same as traditional IVF and involves injecting medications to stimulate egg growth to the point they can be harvested, instead of fertilizing the eggs with sperm, they are frozen and stored until a woman is ready to conceive in future.
While there is no guarantee that freezing eggs will result in a definite pregnancy in the future, recent evidence suggests the success of egg freezing is now on par with traditional IVF (and particularly for those 37 years and under).
Three years after freezing her eggs, Natalie decided on her 40th birthday that she was no longer going to keep looking for “him”, but would create her own family using her frozen eggs and donor sperm. It was then she met Philip, who supported her chosen path of single motherhood — however, as fate would have it, as the pregnancy progressed she and Philip grew closer, and he proposed to her when she was seven months pregnant.
When the baby was born in May 2018, the birth certificate included both Natalie and her fiancé’s names.
“Our son is a miracle to both of us. Every day we are grateful I saved my eggs and that Olive was able to help us create the family we both dreamed of. I have a second embryo, and we hope to one day soon add a brother or sister to our happy house,” Natalie concludes.
According to Dr Niamh Tallon, co-director of Olive Fertility Centre based in Vancouver, the number of single women utilizing the clinic’s services has tripled since 2013. Olive Fertility Centre is hosting a free information session on March 6 for more information about fertility, egg freezing and more — you can register via their website.
When: Wednesday, March 6
Time: 6 pm till 8 pm
Where: Olive Fertility Centre 4F — 400 East Tower, 555 West 12th Avenue