Fertility Preservation and Mental Health: Managing the Emotional Challenges of Egg Freezing
If you’re thinking about freezing your eggs, the “left brain vs. right brain” theory may come into play. On the one hand, you may choose this option for practical reasons; on the other hand, your decision to postpone parenthood may be for more emotional reasons. Regardless of the motivations that drive your decision, it’s important to realize that egg freezing can have a surprising impact on your mental and emotional health. This can partially be caused by physiological factors, such as side effects from hormonal injections, but can also be caused by the various emotions that crop up during the process.
The Emotional Toll of Egg Freezing
The egg freezing process can have a dramatic impact on your mental and emotional health. To prepare yourself for the procedure, you’ll have to undergo weeks of preparation for the procedure, including getting labs drawn and attending multiple doctor’s appointments. As it requires daily hormone injections, possibly 3-4 times, you may experience emotional fluctuations, as well as such side effects as fatigue, constipation, bruising, bloating, cramping, and headaches – all of which can put a damper on your mood.
Some women also experience body image and self-esteem issues, both during prep and after. For example, if fewer eggs than hoped for are retrieved during the procedure, some women feel as though their bodies have failed or are flawed in some way. Other women may feel emotional about the potential of having children in the future, or experience various conflicting feelings all at once, sometimes without obvious reason. In many cases, patients don’t consider these concerns making the decision to freeze their eggs, leaving them feeling caught off-guard.
Safeguard Your Emotional Well-Being With Egg-Freezing
If you’re freezing your eggs, it’s vital to remind yourself that you are making a beneficial, life-changing decision. Rather than avoid any emotional topics, it’s important for you to take a deeper look, explore your emotional landscape, and think about the procedure’s potential stressors. Talking to your fertility specialist ahead of time is a great first step. Your fertility specialist will likely have plenty of ideas to help you navigate any emotional difficulties during the egg-freezing process.
During this time, you may want to consider to discussing your concerns with a therapist, or even attending a support group for like-minded women. Aside from medical care, you have nothing to feel ashamed of if you seek out emotional support.
You should also understand that if you do freeze your eggs, the outcome may not be what you expected. For example, even if the procedure proves successful, you may still have second thoughts. You could also decide to have children naturally.
Coming to Terms With Egg Freezing’s Emotional Impact
Egg freezing offers women an opportunity for future fertility preservation, but deciding to undergo this procedure can take an emotional toll. You may prefer to first speak with our fertility specialists or a therapist. We invite you to contact Chelsea Fertility NYC for a consultation today.