It’s no secret that more women are waiting to have kids, and some are choosing to freeze their eggs as an insurance policy of sorts. That way, when they’re ready, they’ll have eggs on ice that they can hopefully use, if needed.
Gina Lopez did just that — and she decided to have a photo shoot to commemorate the experience. In the photos, which she posted on Facebook and Instagram, the New Jersey resident did various poses with eggs while wearing a strapless dress.
“For the past two weeks I have been undergoing a fascinating personal journey,” she wrote on Instagram. “At 35 years old it was time to get real about my future.” Lopez says she kept the process of freezing her eggs “humorous and very public” throughout the process, and it’s encouraged other women to talk to her about their own fertility options. “I ended my story on Thursday with 11 lovely eggs on ice,” she wrote.
The pictures are similar to pregnancy shoots that women do, and Lopez tells Yahoo Lifestyle that was the point. “Those predelivery photo shoots are really popular, and this was my chance to have a photo shoot,” she says. “Everyone else was doing it.”
Lopez says she recruited her brother to take the photos even though he didn’t get the joke. “He did not understand,” she says, laughing. However, her friends did. “Best photo shoot I have seen all year!!! Love this so much,” one wrote in the comments of her Facebook post. “So refreshing! These are great! Love following this journey!” another wrote.
Egg freezing used to be considered an experimental procedure, but the American Society of Reproductive Medicine dropped the label in 2012. The organization said at the time that there was enough data to consider it safe for women who are struggling with infertility or who have medical conditions that could affect their future fertility. The ASRM didn’t explicitly recommend the procedure for women who aren’t currently struggling with fertility, but some women use it as a backup plan for the future.
Lopez says she had been thinking about freezing her eggs for two years, but she finally decided to take action after friends who are in their 40s and struggling with fertility urged her to do it. “I went to do a consultation for egg freezing, and what really hit me was the amount of women that were there struggling with fertility,” she says. “It made me think that this was the right thing for me to be doing.”
The process was “fairly straightforward,” Lopez says. She had to inject herself with ovulation-stimulating hormones several times a day for 10 days, and then her eggs were harvested. Her doctor was able to retrieve 11 good eggs, which are now frozen. “I’ve been told there’s a good chance I can have at least one kid in the future with that number,” she says. “I feel a lot of pressure off of me.”
Lopez did the egg retrieval on Thursday and, on Sunday, she did the photo shoot. “I’m generally pretty silly, and I’ve been open about the egg freezing process,” she says. The shoot was just a way of bringing things full circle.
She says she was originally nervous that she would offend people who had done pregnancy photo shoots or those who had struggled with fertility, but she ultimately decided to share the photos. Since then, Lopez has gotten two emails from acquaintances who are interested in doing the same thing. “To me, that was the whole point of this — to bring it to light,” she shares with Yahoo Lifestyle.
Lopez says she wants women to know that the process is “easy-ish” and something they should think about. “It’s not as bad as you think,” she says. “I feel like I have a huge weight off of my shoulders.”
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