Can you Imagine Freezing Your Eggs at 20?

Imagine deciding— at 20 years old— to freeze your eggs in order to preserve the chances of having biological children.

Abbey Calderone, whose story can be found here, had the procedure done in May 2017. Having survived cancer, she was worried about the effects of chemotherapy on her fertility. 

Not many women discuss what it really means to prepare your body for carrying a child and taking care of your body while carrying a child.

Calderone sheds some light on the process.

Tricking The Body Into Thinking it’s Pregnant

Sound fun? For 10 days preceding surgery, Calderone took hormone treatments.

“People joke that you become more maternal, but it definitely was a thing for me,” Calderone said.

She felt lethargic and lazy, she had the same cravings that accompany real, natural pregnancy.

“I needed to carry salty food with me at all times,” Calderone said.

What did the Boyfriend Think?!

At first, the whole idea of freezing one’s eggs at 20 made Calderone’s boyfriend uncomfortable. Eventually he was completely understanding, according to Calderone.

“Just because you’re here for process, doesn’t mean they’re yours,” Calderone had to tell him.

The Actual Procedure

After the 10-day hormone treatment, Calderone was ready for the procedure. She said it was an outpatient procedure in which the doctors at an Akron Reproductive Gynecology and Infertility office (with Summa Healthcare) basically used a suction tube to suck out the eggs in her uterus.

Because of the hormones, the eggs “bundled together like a bunch of grapes,” Calderone said.

The doctors were hoping for 6 viable eggs. After testing, Calderone had produced 11 viable eggs.

“When I woke up from the procedure, I called everyone crying, saying ‘I’m gonna have babies,’” Calderone said.

In the future, whatever eggs are left unused can either be discarded, donated to research or donated to women seeking an egg donor.  

(Photo Courtesy of Abbey Calderone)

Why Freeze Eggs?

“I want to carry my own child.”

After enduring grueling chemotherapy to treat Calderone’s Osteosarcoma, her reproductive system was heavily affected.

“My body basically thinks I’m 10 years older than I am,” Calderone said.

She decided to freeze her eggs in case she is infertile by the time she is ready to have her own children. Overall, however, Calderone said she is thrilled with the procedure, even though it is unusual for a 20 year old to family plan.

“I had to fight for my life, now I had to fight to have my own family,” Calderone said.

*Thumbnail photo by Håkan Dahlström / Flickr Images*