“If I can do it, you can do it” – American woman froze her eggs in London for 1/3 the cost
Over the past decade, the United States has seen its slowest population growth because people are waiting longer to have children. According to New York TimesDelaying having a baby was a choice more readily available to the middle and upper classes, but as the ability to pursue higher education increases, so does the number of adults deciding to put their careers first.
It’s amazing for people who want to get their lives on track before they think about delivering a baby, but it can also be daunting for anyone dealing with an inner timeline. You see, the fertility rate for this group declines after age 35, and one-third of couples trying to conceive around this time face fertility issues, according to the Office of Women’s Health. reported.
According Health linethis may be due to a number of risks that increase with age, including having fewer eggs to work with (which are decreasing exponentially each year), an increasing risk of miscarriage or abnormalities chromosomes, higher risks of health problems that could interfere with having a healthy pregnancy, or a problem with the ovaries releasing eggs properly.
So for those considering starting a family later in life, planning for options like freezing your eggs is something to consider. And that’s exactly what a 36-year-old tech marketer turned content creator brittany allyn decided to do, and she documented the whole experience on TikTok.
Brittany is an avid traveler, single, and told BuzzFeed she spent her early 30s enjoying independence. “I’m part of this group of new-age women who chose not to marry or have children at 30,” she said.
Now, looking to the future and knowing that she sees children as a strong possibility, freezing her eggs seemed like the best step.
“Freezing eggs is an option for those who think they want to have kids one day but aren’t ready yet,” Brittany said. “I think this is such a special opportunity for our generation to take back control of our fertility.”
“I wanted [freeze my eggs] to have more peace of mind and almost a form of ‘insurance’ to have a baby later,” she said.
“Also…I always say egg freezing is a good option for your SECOND child. I think I will be able to have a child naturally at 40, but I may need some help early quarantine if I decide to have a second one.”
There is a twist to her story, however, and that is the fact that Brittany froze her eggs overseas. “I’m going to London to freeze my eggs for a third of the price,” Brittany said in the first video of his series on the process.
And she’s not exaggerating – in the United States, freezing your eggs is expensive.
Begin, patients must take hormones for 10-14 days via self-injection which will stimulate their ovaries to make multiple eggs instead of the usual one released during menstruation. All the while, their doctor will monitor their progress with blood tests, ultrasounds, and other methods almost daily.
When the eggs are ready to be retrieved, the patient is sedated and a needle is passed through the vagina and into a follicle (where the eggs are housed). At the end of the needle is a suction device that collects the eggs.
Immediately afterwards, the eggs are stored at subzero temperatures, where they will remain until the patient is ready to use them.
The whole process is between $10,000 to $20,000 in the United States by state and clinic. And storage fees can cost you over $800 a year.
This does not include future costs of in vitro fertilization if or when you decide to use your eggs later, which can cost around $18,000.
To learn more about insurance coverage for egg retrieval and IVF, BuzzFeed contacted KindBodya US-based fertility and wellness clinic, which said many companies have begun to adopt insurance services that include fertility benefits.
“Benefits, including fertility preservation, have become a key component of employer benefits, as they help attract and retain talent, support DEI goals and save healthcare costs,” KindBody spokesperson Margaret Ryan told us.
However, this adoption does not seem wide enough. According to the medical association KFF“Many fertility treatments are not considered ‘medically necessary’ by insurance companies, so they are generally not covered by private insurance plans or Medicaid programs…[and] most patients pay out of pocket for fertility treatment.”
In New York, where Brittany is based, one might have expected her to shell out around $17,000 in the pocket. However, in London, the average cost is between £4,000 and £6,000, or about $4,146 to $6,218 in US dollars, or about a third of the cost. So after a year of researching reputable clinics and doctors she’d like to work with, the 36-year-old bought a $500 ticket to London with her remote job and started the process.
“In everything, including medicine, recovery and storage, [my total is] about $5,000,” Brittany said.
To further save on costs, Brittany has seen people swapping apartments with others abroad or sharing an Airbnb with a friend. For her, however, staying at a friend of a friend’s apartment worked better.
In coordination with the process documentation, Brittany also shared tips and mistakes that she hopes others can learn from.
Among these suggestions is arriving a few days before your period, just in case it comes early, as the egg freezing process usually begins on the second day of your period.
Likewise, she suggests staying a few days after recovery to recuperate. According to Pacific Fertility Centerpatients are typically discharged two hours after egg retrieval, and many return to their regular schedule within two days.
Notably, any eggs recovered during Brittany’s process will have to stay in London. If or when she decides to use them, Brittany will have to either pay about $1,000 to $6,000 for shipping to the US or returning to London – the costs, she says, are worth it, as it still puts her well below the US total.
The 36-year-old’s candor about her journey has inspired many viewers who also want to have a baby one day, but not now. “If I can do it, you can do it. [And] I’m going to do it myself to show women can do it on their own,” Brittany said in a video, which sparked an outpouring of appreciation.
“Thank you for sharing your trip!” one person wrote. “I would love to do that and your videos give me hope.”
“I hope my story can show another option to take control of your fertility at a fraction of the cost,” Brittany concluded.
If you want to follow her journey, you can follow Brittany on ICT Tac and instagram.
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