As 2018 comes to an end, I’m making plans and setting goals for the new year.
And one of things that has been on my mind is whether or not I should (or need?) to freeze my eggs! Yes, you read that right. I’m considering it because I want to allow myself to have more options as I get older.
This blog post is sponsored by Trellis; all opinions are 100% my own.
So I’ve been married for just a little over 2 years now, and I am turning 33 in two months time. I know I’m not exactly “too old” to get pregnant right now, but my husband (who’s the same age as me) and I don’t have immediate plans to have kids just yet. And we don’t want to get pressured into having a baby before we feel ready for them either.
To be honest, I don’t think people share or talk about this egg-freezing topic enough. Perhaps some may consider this as a very private matter, which I can completely understand. But I guess to me, I see it simply as a part of the planning" for my future.
I believe freezing my eggs can only be beneficial, and that I have nothing to lose if I go through with it. But I’ve been hesitant mainly because I don’t understand the process well-enough to feel comfortable doing it. The thought of talking to specialists just seem a little intimidating. Plus, I have so many random questions — and I’m not exactly sure if some of them are even relevant. Regardless, I just really want to at least be mentally prepared.
And then last month, I learned about a women’s egg freezing fertility “studio” called Trellis, a first-of-its-kind destination that couples egg freezing science with wellness! Unlike traditional fertility clinics, Trellis places great emphasis on the status of your fertility health before proceeding with freezing your eggs. And I mean, it totally makes sense! If I’m going to freeze my eggs, of course I would like them to be in the best possible condition!
When I visited Trellis, I was pleasantly surprised — the place looked nothing like a clinic. The interior design gave the space a chic character and I especially adored the fresh juice bar. Thoughtful details are visible everywhere, including in the bathroom, where you’ll find a shelf of beauty products like hand lotion available for use. Instead of feeling nervous for my “doctor’s visit,” I felt calm and comfortable walking into the studio. And of course, the warm and friendly staff contributed a lot to that, too.
One thing I learned about Trellis when I was there that really stuck with me was the fact that the women behind it have all personally gone through IVF or frozen their eggs. So not only are they professional and experts in their fields, but they actually understand how it feels to be in your position. They can relate.
In fact, one woman on the original team even discovered and endured an abnormal condition; she found out she could no longer generate eggs at the age of 35! So if Trellis was already around, she would’ve been able to learn about that through blood tests and ultrasound before it was too late. Even if you decide to not freeze your eggs with Trellis, you would still walk away with a lot more knowledge on fertility health.
Another great thing about Trellis is the customized 1:1 support! Upon your first visit, you’ll be paired with a fertility coach — the person I will be directing my random questions to, and the person explaining things in a way that I can easily understand. They also have fertility nutritionists to help guide you to a healthier lifestyle in preparation for the process, too.
In case you’re interested in learning more about Trellis, I’m sharing some of my initial Q&A with the studio below:
In addition to offering 1 on 1 consultation, a more comfortable space and the wellness program, when it comes to clinics that offer egg-freezing services, are there differences in the "quality" of the process? If yes, how are Trellis' procedures different from other clinics?
Absolutely! First and foremost it’s all about making the experience good for you. Egg freezing is very personal to each person and we take that into consideration for all of our clients by providing flexible hours, daily fertility-friendly juices and customized medication that we have delivered to you (this is especially helpful because you are required to order the medicine from specialty pharmacies that are sometimes more difficult to get to). Our doctors are also REI’s, also known as Reproductive Endocrinologists, meaning they specialize in fertility. This is extremely important because they understand the way the female reproductive system operates and can cater to your own body’s needs.
Is there an age "too young" or "too old" to think about freezing eggs?
It’s never too early to start thinking about your fertility and fertile health! While egg freezing may not be for everyone at a young age, getting your fertility checked by doing an AMH Blood test and Ultrasound is recommended. Then you can create a plan with your doctor on what path is right for you! On that same token, it will depend on your fertile health to determine when you are “too old” but that is a conversation we recommend having with your doctor.
Are the wellness and nutrition programs tailored to every person? Based on what information/factors do the nutritionists decide what is best for someone?
Yes! Our nutritionist puts together a custom plan based on your current lifestyle and fertile health optimization needs. Factors that contribute to the plan are diet, stress levels and future family planning goals.
I'm nervous about needles - is at any time during the entire process of freezing eggs going to be painful?
We don’t think so! The needles are very small (we swear! You can barely see them!), but if needles are something you are nervous about we recommend coming into Trellis for your first few injections. Our nurse can sit with you and show you how to inject and ease any nerves you may have.
What if I don't have a lot of money saved up on the side to do this? Can you talk about the available financial options?
Absolutely! We want to make egg freezing accessible for everyone so we offer financing options. Payments can be as low as $281/month (literally – as much as your monthly workout classes!) and we’re happy to work with you to find a financing program that is right for you.
Would the wellness of the partner be equally important? Are there programs that are designed for couples?
Currently, we focus on wellness for women going through the egg freezing process vs. couples, however if you have a male partner he can talk to his doctor about ways he can improve his fertile health. Female partners if they are interested in improving their fertile health can book an appointment with our nutritionist as well!
The studio is considered the first of its kind - what do you think is the biggest challenge it'll face?
Just getting the word out! Fertility has been a pretty taboo subject and we are working to change that. We want women to be able to talk about their fertile health freely and have information readily available – so I think the most challenging part will just be starting that conversation!
Anything else you'd like to add?
We have bi-weekly seminars which we invite people to come to learn about egg freezing if they are unsure or just want to learn more! They can visit our events page on our website to sign up – and they’re free!
In the new year, I may or may not decide to freeze my eggs. But I know I won’t be alone in the process of figuring that out with the support of Trellis’ team!
What is your take on egg freezing? Do you have any other questions? Please feel free to leave a comment below!
Thank you for reading.
< Photos by Ashley Gallerani. >
Tricia Chen is co-founder of Key To Radiance. She loves having fresh flowers in her apartment, putting on face masks, savoring cupcakes and a daily cup of grande almond latte. She works in PR and Marketing, and is currently based in New York.
Skin Type: Combination skin with an oily T-zone area (forehead and nose). Changes in climate, diet and/or lack of sleep irritates skin and causes inflammation, which then leads to large pores. High moisture level required on dry cheeks.