Chris­tina Klei­nert

Ex­pe­ri­ences with So­cial Free­zing: In­ter­view with Sonja

When did you start to deal with your fer­ti­lity?

“I al­ways had a de­sire to have children from a very young age, my fer­ti­lity espe­cially be­came a topic for me with my first mens­trual blee­ding.

When I was 21, I was dia­gnosed with en­do­me­triosis and had to un­dergo emer­gency sur­gery. Since that point, the con­ver­sa­tion of “fer­ti­lity” be­came re­le­vant to me at the la­test. Since then, so­cial free­zing has al­ways been a thought that came up in my mind, but I pu­shed it aside time and time again. Du­ring this time, fear has al­ways played a huge part into how my fer­ti­lity is doing.”

Interview mit Sonja

For what re­ason did you ul­ti­mately de­cide on so­cial free­zing?

“Due to en­do­me­triosis, I was at risk of in­fer­ti­lity if my cy­cles con­ti­nued to occur na­tu­rally. The­re­fore, my only tre­at­ment op­tion was to take the birth con­trol pill con­ti­nuously. This worked well for a while.

After I started at Fer­tilly, so­cial free­zing be­came a daily part of my work. I was afraid to stop ta­king my birth con­trol pill, but I also thought it would be the per­fect way to ap­proach so­cial free­zing now in my late 20s to have a rea­listic chance of suc­cess and to take some of the worry of child­less­ness away.”

 

What was the pro­cess like?

“In the be­gin­ning, it was a never-en­ding back and forth. I va­cil­lated bet­ween pa­ni­cking about going off the birth con­trol pill and de­ci­ding to try it wi­thout. In the end, I stopped ta­king it and also at­tended the first con­sul­ta­tion at a fer­ti­lity clinic re­la­tively soon. However, this was very frus­tra­ting. I was told that it was al­most im­pos­sible to per­form so­cial free­zing be­cause not a single egg was vi­sible on the ul­tra­sound. At that time, I was ap­proa­ching me­no­pause and would have to tackle my de­sire to have children now, if at all. However, this did not fit into my life plan at this point. I al­ways had a classic image of ha­ving children in my head and also wanted my life cir­cum­s­tances to fit, but they didn’t.”

“I COULD UNDERSTAND FOR THE FIRST TIME HOW WOMEN MUST FEEL WHO HAVE A DESIRE TO HAVE CHILDREN — BUT IT JUST DOESN’T WORK OUT.”

“I walked out crying. I was able to un­der­stand for the first time how women must feel who have a de­sire to have children and it doesn’t work out. Or who feel ‘if I had done this so­oner, then maybe.’

However, du­ring the in­itial con­sul­ta­tion, a blood sample was taken and a few days later I found out that the anti-Mül­le­rian hor­mone value, which pro­vides in­for­ma­tion about the egg re­serve, was dis­pro­por­tio­na­tely high in re­la­tion to the ul­tra­sound image, i.e. good news. I was then told that I was wel­come to try so­cial free­zing, but they could not tell me what my chances of suc­cess would ul­ti­mately be. Ne­vertheless, I thought I wanted to try it in any case.

Then in June 2021, I started my first and only run. That’s when I quickly no­ticed a tug, but at first I judged it to be pla­cebo. The first con­trol ul­tra­sound ap­point­ment was very po­si­tive: one could al­ready see a lot of small fol­licles. I was pre­pared for this to be­come very no­ti­ce­able by the end of the week.

Ori­gi­nally, hor­mone sti­mu­la­tion was sche­duled for ten days be­fore the punc­ture, i.e. the re­moval of the eggs. Towards the wee­kend I started to feel very bad, which is ab­so­lutely not the norm, I must say. At the se­cond ap­point­ment for a con­trol ul­tra­sound, it was dis­co­vered that the fol­licles were not so big after all, so the punc­ture date was post­poned. This was very stressful for me, even though it al­ready looked very pro­mi­sing at that point.

On the day of the egg re­trieval, I was ex­tre­mely ex­cited. I didn’t no­tice anything about the punc­ture itself. When I woke up, I was al­ready under pain­kil­lers.

Then I got the po­si­tive news that some fer­tile eggs could be re­trieved. That made me ab­so­lutely happy.”

How did you feel after the pro­ce­dure?

“IT WAS A SIGH OF RELIEF, THE FIRST TIME IN YEARS.”

“I ad­justed to fee­ling the hor­mone sti­mu­la­tion si­gni­fi­cantly. I had some phy­sical dis­com­fort but mentally I felt normal. Only when the hor­mones were stopped did I have a small drop, that even­tually ended.

When I was able to fi­nish the whole sub­ject, it felt to­tally un­rea­listic at first, espe­cially be­cause I didn’t ap­proach the tre­at­ment with too many hopes. At the same time, it was a huge re­lief. It was like breat­hing a sigh of re­lief, the first time in years. I can make the de­cision to have children re­gard­less of ex­ternal fac­tors that I can’t in­flu­ence.”

How openly did you deal with the topic in your circle of fa­mily and friends?

“Among my friends, I have been com­ple­tely open about the tre­at­ment. I think it is in­credibly im­portant that there is more trans­pa­rency on this sub­ject. Since my friends knew my history of suf­fe­ring, they were in­credibly happy for me.

I told some of my fa­mily mem­bers about it. Most of my fa­mily knew, but they ques­tioned ever­ything be­cause they took it for granted that young women could have children. But no one tried to stop me.”

How do you per­ceive the topic of so­cial free­zing in our so­ciety?

“I no­tice with our pa­ti­ents that many are al­ready in their mid or late thir­ties, which is quite late for so­cial free­zing. I also un­der­stand that the topic is a money issue, as it is not cheap. Other­wise, the topic is far too little dis­cussed in so­ciety. I tra­v­eled a lot in the US, and there the topic is al­ready much more nor­ma­lized and it’s dealt with openly.”

How does your per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence help you when tal­king to pa­ti­ents?

“My tre­at­ment was also a tur­ning point for my work. Of course, I could al­ready un­der­stand my pa­ti­ents very well be­fo­re­hand and put myself in their shoes. But now I can un­der­stand them even better.

I talk to my pa­ti­ents about my own ex­pe­ri­ence when I feel it fits or when I am asked about it. Then I gladly talk about it openly as well. I can ima­gine that it builds a lot of con­fi­dence to talk to so­meone who has walked the path herself.”

What would you want to ad­vise a woman who has made the de­cision to go for so­cial free­zing?

“IT SHOULD BE PART OF EVERY ADOLESCENT WOMAN’S LIFE TO HAVE HER OWN FERTILITY TESTED”.

“De­fi­ni­tely to per­ceive an in­itial con­sul­ta­tion in a fer­ti­lity clinic to have the state of her fer­ti­lity tested. The vast ma­jo­rity of women have their fer­ti­lity tested for the first time when they have been trying to get pregnant for a long time. Often, however, there is not much help avail­able at that point.

You can only make a de­cision for or against so­cial free­zing if you are in­formed about it and know about your own fer­ti­lity. However, most women do not know this. The rea­lity is that even women in their twen­ties are al­ready going through me­no­pause — ra­rely, but it hap­pens.

I would like it to be part of every ado­lescent woman’s life to have her own fer­ti­lity che­cked. Only then will young women have the chance to make a de­cision for them­selves in­s­tead of ha­ving it au­to­ma­ti­cally taken away. I un­der­stand that the money factor is a huge issue for many. But it is an in­vest­ment in the fu­ture. In their own fu­ture and in a self-de­ter­mined fu­ture.”

About Fer­tilly

At Fer­tilly, we have made it our mis­sion to ac­com­pany cou­ples (ho­mo­se­xual and he­te­ro­se­xual) and sin­gles on the way to ful­fil­ling their child wish. In doing so, it is im­portant to us to create trans­pa­rency in the area of fer­ti­lity ser­vices, to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion and know­ledge on the to­pics of pregnancy and fer­ti­lity and to help you to find the most sui­table Fer­ti­lity Center. Through coope­ra­tion with first-class Fer­ti­lity Cen­tres and cli­nics in Eu­rope, en­qui­ries about Fer­tilly are given pre­fe­ren­tial tre­at­ment. This means that our pa­ti­ents avoid the usually long wai­ting times and get ap­point­ments more quickly.

If you would like more in­for­ma­tion about Fer­ti­lity Cen­ters, suc­cess rates and prices, please con­tact us using this ques­ti­onn­aire. We will ad­vise you free of charge and wi­thout any ob­li­ga­tion.

  • An­swer the first ques­tions in the on­line form in order to book an ap­point­ment. This way we can better ad­dress your needs du­ring the con­ver­sa­tion.

  • We will find the best con­tact person for your in­di­vi­dual needs. Sche­dule 20 mi­nutes for the con­sul­ta­tion.

  • We will in­tro­duce you to the right fer­ti­lity clinic from our net­work, make an ap­point­ment and ac­com­pany you until your wish for a child is ful­filled.

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