Live Better. Love Better. Work Better.

How Does Freezing My Eggs Affect My Mental Health?

Megan Mulroy, LPC 

Making the choice to freeze your eggs can be an empowering and life-changing decision for many folks assigned female at birth. Many AFAB people know they want children one day but aren’t ready for that commitment. On the other hand, many AFAB people are undecided if they want to be a parent, but don’t want that choice taken away from them before it’s too late. Unfortunately, freezing your eggs is expensive and often inaccessible, but if you are able to make this decision, it can be very rewarding and give you the freedom of having options. However, we very rarely talk about how emotionally taxing it is to make this decision. Here are some things to consider that may affect your mental health when making this decision: 

Changes in Your Routine

Your routine will greatly change when you begin the process of freezing your eggs. During this process, you are not allowed to drink alcohol or use any recreational or illicit drugs. Additionally, you can’t have sex and are not allowed to do any exercise other than walking. For many people, this is a vast departure from their regularly scheduled programming. You’ll need to find other ways to cope with anxiety, stress, or depression if exercise is your go-to coping skill. Or, if you struggle with substance misuse that will likely be a challenge for you. Change is hard for many people and making such drastic changes can leave you feeling out of control, anxious, and sad. 

Mood Changes

Due to the volume of hormones that are being injected daily (sometimes upwards of 3-4 shots a day), you may notice yourself feeling more emotional than usual. It’s normal to find yourself being quicker to react rather than respond or find yourself being more teary than usual. Try and be gentle with yourself during this period and remind yourself that you’ll be back to your normal disposition in a few weeks. 

Complicated Feelings

While freezing your eggs is an empowering decision, many women are unprepared for the complex feelings that may arise. Because everybody is different, things don’t always go to plan. Say, for instance, you find out that you are producing eggs at a much lower volume than someone your age should be and your chances of natural pregnancy are slim to none. You may feel grateful to have made the decision to freeze your eggs and also grief around how you imagined you might be a parent. Many women grapple with how unfair it is that they have to put their bodies through so much stress while some women get pregnant very easily.  You also may feel disappointed at the number of eggs that will be retrieved and anxious about the unknown of how your body will respond to drugs. Reminds yourself that it is common to feel many conflicting feelings at once and ground yourself at the moment. Be proud that you’ve made such a life-changing decision. 

Body Image

One of the most important relationships we have in this life is the one with our bodies. During the egg freezing process, you will be putting a lot of stress on your body. One of the most common side effects of hormone injections is weight gain. It may be upsetting or triggering to notice how your body will change. It is also common for women to struggle with the concept of their body failing them during this process if they aren’t producing a certain number of eggs or when noticing how dramatically the hormones affect their energy levels. Instead of focusing on how your body isn’t working the way you want it to, make space for how hard it’s working to prepare you for the next stage in your life.  

You’ll Need Support

If you are used to doing things on your own, leaning on someone else during this process can be a challenge. The side effects of hormone injections can include fatigue, constipation, bruising, bloating, cramping, headaches, and much more. Because of the physical stress, you are placing on your body, having someone to help you with injections and with things around the house is key during this process. It’s very common for folks to feel uncomfortable being taken care of and this can be a distressing situation for many. It’s okay to need help — and it’s brave to ask for it during this time. In addition to physical support, having someone emotionally in your corner can help the process not feel so isolating as well. 

Freezing your eggs is a momentous decision and one that you should be proud of. Because of how emotionally taxing the process is, working with a therapist during this time can be a wonderful avenue for support. Symmetry Counseling is currently accepting new clients, so please feel free to schedule an appointment for therapy in Chicago by calling (312) 578-9990 or by connecting with us online.

Symmetry Counseling Recent News Image 4
Recent Posts

When to Go to Couples Therapy? When You Notice These 3 Sign

Apr 30, 2024

Zoe Mittman, LSW If you’re asking the question “when to go to couples therapy”, you are in the right place. I am going to spend some time talking about 3 signs couples therapy may be a good fit for you.…

Read More

Healing the Heart – Tips for How to Get Over a Breakup

Apr 23, 2024

Breakups can be extremely difficult for both the heart and the mind. Grieving the loss of a relationship is taxing both mentally and emotionally. Whether you initiated the breakup or are the individual being broken up with, the pain and…

Read More

Surviving the Holidays: 5 Tips for Managing Holiday Stress

Apr 16, 2024

Paula Gonzalez MA, LPC, ADHD-CCSP, CIMHP                                                                                         The Christmas holiday season can be filled with “tidings of comfort and joy!.” It can also be filled with lots of invitations to holiday parties that will have you “rockin’ around the Christmas tree…

Read More