I am, like many women of my generation, ambitious and driven. At 35, I've been blessed to have the opportunity to live in great places, worked in a variety of different roles and have completed a Master's degree. I guess you can say that, in terms of my professional life, a lot of it has gone according to my plan. But when it comes to my personal life, the road has been a little less linear.
Over the holidays in 2014 I started thinking about my "happiness plan," answering questions like, what was actually in my control and what was not? How important is having my own biological children one day? I was considering new job opportunities, some of which would move me back to the Bay Area (guess where I landed?) and I didn't want my innate desire to have children clouding some key life decisions. I knew friends who had success with freezing their eggs and had asked my gynecologist about accessing a fertility screen a year prior. I decided it was time to test it again and, given a change in results, I decided to move forward with the egg freezing process.
Turns out my egg freezing journey wasn't linear either. I ended up doing three cycles, two of which were completed in Chicago and this last one here in San Francisco, with Pacific Fertility Center, after helping bring the benefit to my current company, Salesforce. Although I had to go through the process more than once, I have zero regrets and a sense of calm that I have enough eggs to work with should I need them at some point.
I feel women today need to know they don't need to wait to have life's pieces in place to know their fertility health if it's important to them. Is it a perfect solution? No. In fact, according to a past NPR article, fertility screens should be seen as a guide rather than as a clear answer. But I would say some information is better than none.
Some statistics show the average woman spends about 10 minutes with her gynecologist each year. I encourage you to make it 12 and bring up the topic of fertility. Ask the question. Know your numbers. And then talk about it. Because one thing this world needs is more women standing up, speaking out and, most of all, supporting and encouraging each other.
—Alison Fyfe is an egg freezing advocate and blogger. She can be reached at email@example.com for panel speaking, blog contributions or coaching.
// For more information about egg freezing, visit pacificfertility.com.