“My friend suggested that I freeze my eggs in Europe because costs are much lower. After doing some research online, I felt overwhelmed by all of the unknown variables – is it safe, will anyone speak English, how long will I be there, where do I even start!? I was ready to give up on the whole idea and just empty my savings account to do the procedure in the US. Then I read about Ovally and reviewed their website. Shortly after, I had a phone call with a fertility coach, and then she took it from there! She matched me with the perfect clinic and even helped me plan my travel! My experience with Ovally was fantastic. They were in touch regularly before, during, and even after the process. Also, I could reach out to them asking even the smallest of questions, and would receive an almost immediate response.
Acupuncture is a Traditional Chinese Medicine technique that uses thin needles to stimulate specific points on the body to release blocked energy and jumpstart a healing process. In the context of fertility, acupuncture may help improve blood flow to the uterus and reduce stress and anxiety. It may also play a role in regulating certain hormones that play a role in fertility, including beta endorphins and insulin. However, data from randomized experiments are very limited, and scientific results on the effectiveness of acupuncture for fertility treatments are inconclusive.
Ovally now supports patients undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in addition to our egg and embryo freezing patients, by matching you with clinics that are up to 70% more affordable than comparable top clinics in the US, supporting you throughout your journey as your personal fertility coach, and serving as your individual travel planner for your IVF trip to Spain. That’s why we’re kicking off a new blog post series on IVF, starting with the basics: How does IVF work, and what happens when?
This is part 3 of Ovally founder Kathy’s personal daily account of her embryo freezing journey to Spain. Read the previous two posts on the stimulation period and egg retrieval. This set of posts takes you from the egg fertilization through embryo development, genetic testing, and freezing. It doesn’t include the last IVF step of embryo transfer.
What does the trigger shot feel like, and how is the retrieval under anesthesia? Here’s Ovally founder Kathy’s personal account starting 36 hours before her egg retrieval until a few hours after the procedure. If you’re interested in the hormone stimulation period leading up to the egg retrieval, check out the previous blog post.
It’s one thing to read a summary of what happens during egg freezing or IVF, but we’ve found it’s often more helpful to read an honest, personal account of what every day of a treatment actually feels like. When Ovally founder Kathy froze embryos in Spain, she blogged about it every day – below is an unedited version of what the “stimulation period” was like for her, when she was giving herself daily injections of follicle-stimulating hormones. Even though everyone’s experience is slightly different, we hope that this will make the procedure more tangible:
We’ve been getting a lot of questions about fertility tests and other predictors of fertility from our customers who’re preparing for their fertility treatment with Ovally. For the purpose of this post, we’re going to focus on women’s fertility and what is available to test it, though keep in mind that it’s only half the story. The one predictor of fertility that probably comes to mind for most of us is age. We could write a whole post about the controversies of age-related fertility decline but will focus on hormone levels and fertility tests here. Suffice it to say that some frequently cited data on age-related fertility decline are very old and come with all kinds of confounds, but there is well established evidence that pregnancy success rates for women needing treatment for fertility issues decrease significantly with age, while rates of miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities increase. A few studies comparing natural conception rates of women in their 30s and 40s have also shown that conception rates decrease and time to conception increases with age.