There's a MAJOR piece in your egg freezing puzzle that isn’t actually really about you at all, even though it can have a major impact on your experience of the procedure:
Your support system.
So why is it so important to have a solid support system who have your back before egg freezing (and, y'know, life in general...)?
1. You'll Be Less Likely to Have Regrets
Having the right people to talk to and the right emotional support in place during your treatment cycle is about more than just having someone to hold your hand and tell you it's going to be ok (although that's kind of nice too) - it could actually help prevent you from having regrets.
In one study, researchers - including Everything Egg Freezing expert panelist Dr Eleni Greenwood - spoke to women two years after their egg freezing treatments and found that those who lacked emotional support and information during their procedure were more likely to have second thoughts about having gone through with the procedure in the first place.
2. It Will Be Less Stressful
It can be easy to write off egg freezing as not really fertility treatment. Not, say, compared to women doing IVF. But other research shows that women egg freezing are most often doing so without a partner, and find it even more stressful than women doing IVF - who are more likely to be partnered. The European Society of Human Reproduction Embryology (ESHRE) recommends that psychosocial support should be part of standard protocol for all types of fertility treatments.
Let’s call a spade a spade: egg freezing can be kind of isolating. And isolation is a major cause of depression in adults. According to other studies, having a good support system can help reduce psychological stress (like anxiety, restlessness) as well as physical stress (seen in cortisol levels).
3. You Might Recover Faster
Data shows that companionship can even help you recover faster from the pain of surgery. And that’s from numerous experiments presented to the annual meeting of experts from the Society of Neuroscience.
More specifically, having support helps you heal faster from post-operative inflammation. Stress raises the levels of certain proteins associated which in turn affect the body’s reaction to inflammation and injury. When you have companionship, you’re less stressed. When you’re isolated, you have far higher levels of these proteins in your brain and spinal cord tissue. The neuroscience professor who ran one of these studies said:
"We believe that socially isolated individuals are physiologically different...and that this difference seems to be related to inflammation.”
4. They Can Simply Be There For You
Most people choose to freeze their eggs because it's just not the right time to start a family. That could be for a lot of reasons - some high drama, some no drama.
But for most women, it's predominantly because they're single, their partner is dragging his or her feet about kids, or they just had a break-up.
These things, along with anything else you might be facing that's led you to go for the procedure in the first place, like a rocky relationship, an uncertain future, a big move or a big change, or - equally - no change...not to mention the financial worries than egg freezing can represent...can be emotionally taxing.
And when you're emotionally taxed...you need your people around you.
Prioritising setting up your support system helps you to prepare for egg freezing (and any other fertility treatment like IVF) in the best possible way, for the best possible experience.
To join our community of egg freezers, sign up to the ELANZA Wellness Fertility Fit™ app.