Put Those Eggs On Ice/
- September 29, 2020
Tully is joined by Dr. Sarah Matthews from Repromed Fertility Specialists to chat about the ideal time to freeze eggs, the process involved in egg freezing, egg donation, hereditary diseases, and other fertility options.
On today’s show:
- Fertility and co-parenting
- Fears about egg freezing
- The ideal time to freeze eggs
- The egg freezing process
- Egg donation and hereditary diseases
- Fertility options
This podcast is produced by BIG MEDIA COMPANY.
Hello and welcome to Episode 11 of too much Tally. Today we're talking all things fertility, Jess and I have a million questions and we show you guys do too. So thankfully joining us later in the show, we have Dr. Sarah Matthews from my permit, who is fertility expert and clinician. I, for one have baby fever. So I am shaking in my knitted booties to learn about how I can start my small football team of children. Jess, you've got your wine, or actually, if we're talking about babies, and we shouldn't drink this episode. No, I got my wine. Let's get into it.
So totally. I have a huge bone to pick with you go I'm Jessica. And also pun intended. This is about dogs. Is it? Yes. Okay, we're talking about interesting because last week you popped up on the too much Holly Instagram. I comparison between Was it a cataleya and my favourite dogs in the entire world with it?
Well, it was off the back of the episode. Right. So we touched on a bunch of different questions began small one of your questions because you thought that the kind of dog person wanted to know a lot about who they were as a person. And I said that I've always loved King Charles Cavalier is and you said that you love Whippets, which I think are just untrustworthy little sneaky dogs.
I know. But you didn't even give it the time of day you chose the ugliest with it. Frodo, did you do that on purpose?
Look, I thought I thought I wanted to hear from the people. You know, I wanted to say what they thought was cute. I may have found a pretty unattractive photo of a Whippet. And then I may have cheated and got an A puppy King Charles Cavalier that just so happened to be sitting in a field of daisies. So it was maybe an unfair polling exercise that you're saying.
Yes, I that's exactly what I'm saying. It wasn't apples for apples.
It was so you decided to fill my dams with 101 photos of different Greg with it just to prove your point.
Yeah, and because that's the kind of what I want. I want a little choco one. But my wife, Bailey, I also sent you photos of him. And he is the most stunning gorgeous pup in the entire world. He's no longer with us. So rip, wrestling pays Bailey. But he was the most gorgeous, stunning dog you'll ever come across. And you finally said, What did you say? You tell us just not cute?
Just know. He's just not so funny. You're usually so chill and like, borderline monotone. And this is the most passionate I've ever heard you talk about any subject matter, ever. So you clearly love whip. It's a lot. I'm so sorry. You know, I'll take it back. I'll take it back. I can't wait for you to get a little bit but and we can call it we'll name it as a show. Maybe.
Yes, that'd be great. We can get your audience to name it for us, although I do have a few names, but we can leave that for them.
Okay, so just today's episode we've had in the works for quite a while I think ever since episode one where we briefly briefly touched on fertility and egg freezing. The feedback we got from that episode was phenomenal. I I truly didn't have any idea. You know how many people listening? We're also kind of clueless but interested but scared about the issue of egg freezing. Mm hmm. You know, you're in your 30s until you're 30. I'm in my 30s we're both single. It's definitely something that's been on my mind a lot more recently, it actually came up a couple years ago, I actually went and found the email to read to you guys. So this was sent to me during 27 2019. So it was really a year ago. Yeah. For my manager. And the the subject might have said this is a How's this for a strange one. And I thought, oh god, you know, I get so many weird emails from brands wanting to work with me from vibrators to all kinds of way to wonderful collaboration openings. And I remember reading this email already to you guys. And I'll tell you my reactions. So it says hi, Janet. So prmc Hi, Jen. Not a subject you see in your email every day right subject segue says egg freezing. I wanted to touch base on a very unique programme. Do you have a woman in your talent family that might be looking into egg freezing? I've listening Telly shameless podcast interview, I didn't really thought she would be great. It's most suited to anyone 29 to 36, who is in a long term committed relationship yet or it's just had a big breakup. And then she speaks a little about the clinic that she works with. And it says the idea is to share the journey mostly via Instagram story content. Anyway, so Jen, my manager, I thought it was kind of a funny one. And obviously it's, you know, it's her job to pass it on. I had that wheatus reaction to reading that I personally it is interesting.
It's one of those things that you don't think about until it's you know, spoken about by a friend or maybe even our podcast. Now. It's not it's a little bit shocking and hard to kind of purchase.
I think that I think there's a few reasons why I had that reaction. I was actually at work because of my freelance job. So I was like in a public place. And I got really teary. I think there are a couple of reasons. I think one is that I didn't think I was at that stage in my life yet. I didn't think I had to stop thinking or worrying about freezing my eggs, you know, at the time, I would have been 31 and I just thought, Oh, my God, do I is this should I be panicking? Like, should I be worried? Is this something I should be worried about? Then there was the other feeling of like, Oh my god, you know, I have been single for a while, and maybe this is something I have to be considering. And then I sort of had this mental image play in my head of like my life and how I always saw it panning out and the fact that it wasn't panning out that way. And that was kind of a really like, you know, sombre realisation that, you know, my Pinterest board of like these weddings and kids and babies and dogs and the perfect, you know, white picket fence, maybe that might not be my reality, I might have to do this on my own. And then there was the third realisation that, which is probably more of an ego thing, but I, the thought that these like PR team was sitting around a desk on a Monday morning, spitballing, who they could reach out to, and my name was written on that whiteboard, like, oh, that girl for big brother. I mean, she's been single for about seven years, she's sad and lonely. She's just been stuck. She can't get a date. She wants babies. I was like, Oh, my God, a whole team sat together and thought that I'd be a great candidate. Like that is fucking depressing. So I initially was really taken aback. And I was kind of like, like, no, like, tell him No, thanks. Thanks. Thanks for No thanks, not, wouldn't be interested in it. I also was concerned that it was maybe too personal a journey, and maybe not the kind of content that I should be sharing my social media channel. I think, for most of the time, you know, me doing what I do on social media, it's, it's fun, and it's light. And it's bubbly. Obviously, I use it for stuff that are important to me to talk about, you know, matters like mental health, anxiety, dementia, I definitely use it for that. But I don't know, I just feel like futility. And going through that kind of experience. And journey is just such a personal matter. And the thought of having to like, share it via Instagram just initially didn't sit very well with me.
And how do you feel about it? Now? Do you think that you've changed a little bit?
Do you know? Well, I actually think it was that very email that planted a seed in my head, it planted a seed about egg freezing, and it's kind of been something that's been coming up more and more since then. I think, you know, with the global pandemic, it's been a really weird year, I think it's made a lot of people stop and reassess where they are in their life. It's why people stop and assess what's important to them, what's not important to them, you know, what, what, from their old life, they want to go back to what they can live without, you know, what they want to spend their their focus on moving forward. I don't know about you. But I've definitely had a lot of reassessing in terms of what's important to me. And it's definitely been in my mind, it's definitely in my mind, and I think my half my paid I who I live with, she's frozen her eggs, and she has nothing but amazing, great things to say about the whole experience and the whole journey. I don't know, how do you feel about it? Have you considered it before?
So a really close friend of mine did it this year, and this was probably my email moment that you had, of actually even thinking about it. Like, I didn't even think I didn't consider it to be maybe something for me as a straight person. But then in hindsight, when you look into it a little bit more, you know, I'm single, I might not find a partner in the next, you know, five years, or whatever it is, and then I might be getting on and my egg count might be going down. So these are all things that I didn't even consider that I would need to have. And since then, yeah, I have considered it, whether I would want to use them alone down the track is a different question. But yeah, it's definitely something I think I want to do in the next few years, just to make sure that, you know, family is such a huge part of my life now. And I want that for myself.
Yeah, we both said, you know, in last week's episode, we both said that a long term goal of ours was to have a family, I think we both want children. And it's definitely something that I've, I've never, I've never imagined my life without kids in it. And so I guess now, you know, it would be silly to not at least look into my options. And I guess egg freezing is definitely one of them. Do you think that if you were to do it with getting it would give you peace of mind?
Yeah, I think so. Because, as I just said, I think with the, you know, in five years time, if I looked back and you know, I still didn't have a partner, that I think that's when I would start having the conversation with myself as to whether I would do it alone, and whether I would actually push through that. I think at this stage in my life, I probably I'd want to just have it there for that sense of security, I suppose. But yeah, it just opens up conversations on the track that you you might want to have,
I guess once you freeze once you freeze your eggs, he didn't have a couple of different options, right? So you can freeze your eggs and then say in 235 years, 10 years time, you can say okay, so either you've found a partner and you're like, great, cool, I've got some like super fresh and young and eggs, you know, frozen in time, right? That probably you know makes it easier and we're gonna find out all about this in a minute with a with an expert, but so you've got that option. Then I guess you got the option of Okay, cool. I haven't met anybody but I still definitely want kids do I now do this alone and become you know, a single mom. Or there's also co parenting, obviously now, this is another option that I would never have taken seriously. Before this year, I kind of would have always like, I mean, you make those deals, right? You make those deals at like high school university with with guy friends or best friends. We like you know if we're both I left that was always like, if we're both still single at 30 we should just get married. And are
you are those
as well, I think. And then they all got taken. No. I mean, I was hedging my bets. I was sneaky. Like I met a few different sneaky packs and like made them feel like they were the only one. Anyone else had it. We've but now it's like, Okay, if we're still seeing like 40 then we'll get married. But yeah, I mentioned again in Episode One them too much Telly, but my dear friend James, who I've known for about 10 years now. He's 35 he's sort of always single. I'm always single. And yeah, we had a few, a few veiners one night at dinner, and he kind of brought up but I thought he was joking. And then we kind of went along with this sort of imaginary life we could have together and the more we spoke about it, the more I was like, I can't do that. Like I've always been. It's so funny because I think if you know me, or if you you know, you know me from the podcast, or from Instagram, you think Oh, god, she's a bit out there. You know, I mean, this podcast has gone too much. Totally. I've done a lot of weird, crazy things. Over the years. I've dated women. I want a big brother. You know, I don't seem to really follow any kind of rulebook or guidelines, but I'm weirdly traditional about a lot of things. It's, it's bizarre. And yeah, I always just imagine me, you know, getting married and having kids. And now I'm like, I probably could totally bring up a kid with you with my friend James or with some other amazing guy in my life. Would you ever consider that? Um, do you even when your life right now, you could imagine doing that with
I've got a I've got a really close,
gay best friend. And I feel like I could do that with him because he is an absolute legend, I could imagine that he would be an amazing dad. And I think that that would be a really nice partnership. Again, I I'm still kind of have my mindset on finding the one and having, you know, babies as a as a family unit. But I mean, it doesn't mean that I'm, you know, not open to it down the track because I definitely want that in my life. So, I'm not going to say no, but it's in the moment. No,
yeah. Okay. Ever, there was no wrong answer. There is no wrong answer. Okay, so before we get the expert in the field on the podcast, I don't know about you, but like, I think there are so many common misconceptions and myths about egg freezing. What are some of the ones like what are some of your biggest fears? biggest fears is that you'd go through the process and then your eggs are
mistaken for someone else's or given away one or the
other. you'd watch. That really shuts down. I don't like
wait all day. Like I don't know. This is what I want to find out.
Oh my god. Wait, I my fees are so different cake. Where are yours? You What do you think the eggs are gonna get mixed up in the lab or something? Yes. I mean, I guess that's it. Yeah. So what was that we have like a statewide like blackout and the freezer dies for a few hours and the eggs die.
The eggs are gone.
Because it is a process? For sure. Okay, no, my my fear is most more stuff like, you know, I want to know, you know, how old is too old? You know, I feel like I've been told that as soon as you hit 30 your eggs start dying by some ridiculous percentage every year? Like, am I already too old? What are the possibilities of you know, of having any decent eggs? And then how long can you keep them for? Like, is there a best before date? Is there a use by date? Like, what's the deal? And like? How many? What's the percentage of women that actually come back and use them? What happens to them afterwards? Like say you get married and you get four pregnant naturally, and you forget all about them? What happens? What happens to them? Can we donate them say Say for instance, I end up with a family of 10 which is what I want, by the way. 10 children? Jesus, really? No, I better start now. That was the plan. As I get older, I cut them down. I'd be happy with five now. Do I get like say for instance, I have my own family naturally. Because I'm you know, very, very lucky. Can I then pass my eggs to someone who maybe can't have kids? Is there like a reuse recycle programme?
I mean, I hope so. That would be nice.
All right, Jess. So we clearly have a billion trillion questions. I'm sure that everybody's listening has their own questions. Thank the Lord baby Jesus. We have an expert in the field joining us under Philip Glass. Jess, you fill up yours and let's get Dr. Sarah Matthews from represented on the line. Dr. Sarah Matthews, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for agreeing to join us today.
Absolutely. pleasure. Thanks for having me.
I think a lot of women have a moment in their lives single otherwise, where their fertility and ability to have children suddenly comes you know, becomes this niggling feeling Or even a concern? Firstly, can you give us a bit of background about how long you've been working in this field and what inspired you to become a fertility expert.
So I've been working here at RIT permits for about 15 years. And prior to that, I worked at the Royal women's in Melbourne, and did a dip pub fare, and then came back here to Adelaide, and have been working here ever since. So some time, and a lot has changed in that in that period of time.
I'd love to kick off our q&a with you by getting to know how, how eggs work, like Do they really start to dry up? You know, when should we actually stop thinking about collecting eggs and freezing them? And you know, is there ever a time where it's too late?
I think women are becoming more and more educated about this, which is really good. But basically, we are born with all the eggs we're ever going to get. So we basically have the most eggs about five to 7 million when we're actually in our mother's uterus. And then by the time we're born we've lost about half of those eggs already
God so we're already up she Creek before we even birth. So lately, it's
men have a much more a much easier because they're constantly being made. sperm is currently being made. But with eggs, basically, it's that sagittario, from from the minute guy into miniport. But certainly by around about the age of 35, that decline is a lot steeper, and the quality of the eggs really plays a big part there and starts to deteriorate. And that's why getting pregnant beyond 35 is much more difficult, why miscarriage rates are much higher at that age as well. So in terms of when to you know, when is the best time to get pregnant? Obviously biology says the earlier, the better. But you know, women these days have so many other things they want to do pre baby. And there's you know, everyone has their own circumstances. But suddenly we'd be looking at trying to achieve a pregnancy and certainly freezing eggs beyond before the age of 35.
So if you're going to say the ideal time to freeze your eggs, how old is that?
It's probably where you are about now Telly
32 great. No pressure. Okay, and what do you think, what's the latest age? You can freeze your eggs? Would you say? Look,
I we don't like doing it beyond 38. Certainly I have done egg phrasing beyond that. But I think it really gives a female but probably the wrong sense of security because the success rates beyond that quite poor. And by the time they're then come back and use those eggs is then too late to use their iron pyronix. So we don't like doing it beyond 38. Sometimes we do it much younger to on the other end of the spectrum. But that's usually for medical purposes,
touching on that. So what kind of women get in touch with you? Like what are some of the different circumstances that are usually single? Are they in relationships? Like what kind of like what range of people do you have coming to you? So
probably the majority as a single educated women who know about this, yeah, you again. And actually, course I can afford to do egg freezing. But we have a whole lot of different people in different circumstances I have, you know, some have seen a lot of patients who've just come out of relationships, and often within the first week of that dissolving, they've lost that relationship, and then they realise that they potentially going to lose the chance to be a parent as well. And so they come in here and feel, you know, this is something that at least they can control. And it gives him that, you know, feeling of less, you know, they don't, they haven't lost that as well, you can and they often say it's better than Thank you It's often better than therapy in that respect for them. I really feel a lot more empowered. But we have lots of different people. I mean, we see a few in the trans community. So women, females that are transitioning to male, and so those trans men can then potentially have children with their own genetics down the track.
That's fascinating. I never I didn't even think about that being an option. That's amazing.
Yeah. And then of course, there's a medical reasons, you know, people undergoing chemotherapy radiotherapy for oncology reasons. endometriosis, if you've got that it does seem to speed up, the number of eggs lost and the quality of the eggs isn't as good. So that's often something that can be helpful, you know, to phrase those eggs earlier as well.
What's involved in the process like sort of from start to finish, like how many steps are there? How many appointments Am I going to need? Like, what is it is it a long process can I get done in a weekend or an Did you know in a day maybe like, what am I looking at?
Yeah, look, it's it's pretty easy process. Basically, it involves coming in doing a few tests beforehand. And one of the most important tests we do Is this a MH test, which basically is the egg timer test. And this this is a blood test. It's a simple blood test, you can have it even if you're on the pill or anything. And it assess how many sort of eggs proportionally you have compared to somebody else, your age sort of thing. So it gives us a really good idea of where your fertility sits and how long that fertility window is. And once we have that we can be, we can guide women, as to which choice, you know, the next sort of step, step. Now, basically, the most important sort of clinical decision to the making factor is a woman's age. And certainly, as we said, if it's, you know, if they are older, then we may be better off discussing different options for them, such as using donor sperm and achieving a pregnancy sort of there and then kind of thing or freezing embryos, which seemed to do a little bit better than eggs. But in terms of the process, it's a couple of bloods not just sound. And then basically, we use a medication called FSH, which is a really tiny law in injection, which comes in a pin kind of thing. And you can just, if you're going out, if you can go out, you pop in your handbag, and you're basically just give yourself a little jab once a day, working with your periods. So we start on day two, and you continue taking his medication for around about 11 days. I'm injecting myself every day for 11 days.
Yeah, I'm sweating. You started speaking just then I was like, Whoa, it's really hot in here all of a sudden.
It's basically it's a subcut little NATO
and you pinch an inch if you've got an inch to pinch
me after lockdown. I've got more than a few inches,
well, you'll be fine. Like it's pretty simple. A lot of our patients some of them do have dado phobias and so forth. And they they seem to do it absolutely fine
will turn me into a crazy person like you see all these movies when people are trying for a baby and they have to inject themselves with stuff and it turns him into like a hormone monster Am I gonna be a crazy hormone monster,
the whole mindset produced from the eggs. So if you get lots of nice whole eggs, then you are going to feel a bit pre med struggle leading up to you have got a glass of wine.
I'm jealous, I have to work it
out to the egg collection. So it's actually only probably the last few days before the collection which is usually done around about day 12 of the cycle. So it's not a long process and once you take the eggs out your hormones drop and you'll be fine. So most people can continue doing their normal work and whatever they're doing. They just come in here early in the morning they have a blood test and a scan a couple times and then the egg collection and that's just done what here it's done upstairs. It's under a really light anaesthetic and so you have the day off but you generally back to work the next day and then your period comes about two weeks later
so with the egg collection, so I have a lot anaesthetic so I'm not conscious for it.
Yeah, no, you're not conscious. We actually can do it under local anaesthetic as well. Which is actually a cheaper way if you don't have private have health insurance. And then what do you get like a little mini vacuum and suck them all out? Like how do you actually retrieve the eggs? It's a vagina probe and the probe has a little needle at the end of it.
That sounds like so much fun Sara honestly Yeah, I just went up for the
why you fade in lockdown anything.
My section I've had in a while
I it's it's um it's just through the vagina wall. So there's no Pat's on your tummy or anything like that. It's
what are you doing? You just like scooping them out?
you're sucking the follicular
Are you getting them out? That was
suck out sort of thing. So basically,
you're basically sucking a follicle which is about you know, a couple centimetres at the time, sucking the fluid out and then the embryologist the scientists will then hunt for the egg. And then they'll get it ready and then they'll fit your fight and phrase it
Okay, so what are the costs involved? I feel like that's probably one of the biggest barriers to people that are considering freezing their eggs. I've had all kinds of crazy crazy figures. What if like that, obviously you can't I'm sure everyone's different. Everyone's circumstances different and probably everyone every company or every Cleaning different, but what is some sort of around about fingers?
Okay, so there's two different reasons for doing egg freezing one we touched on with the medical reasons. And in that circumstance, we can actually, it is subsidised by Medicare, but not completely so but the still the costs around about sort of four ish thousand dollars per cycle. Without that subsidy, it's around about here. It's about $8,000. I think this in suburbs, states are a little bit more expensive, but it is. Absolutely, as you said the biggest sort of hurdle for going for, you know, for doing this in the first place.
Yes, I think it's about 10 K over here in Melbourne. That's what I've that's my digging has has shown. But I guess you know, I mean, God, I went to Coachella a few years ago VIP and I spent way more than 10 k that weekend. So you know, I guess you just have to sort of weigh up your priorities and see it as an investment. Well, what are the success? What's the success right of having your eggs taken and frozen? Like? Does it take one go? What I need a couple of guys like what generally is a success, right?
It comes down to numbers, and it comes down to the the age and the quality of the eggs. So somebody of your age 30 actually won't say because
if your ama your egg timer tests showed that your egg numbers were average for your age, or obviously even better would be even better, then we would expect to get around about 12 to 15 eggs from you. And that with ha being around about 10% giving us a 10% chance of a pregnancy means that there's at least one pregnancy most likely, I
don't like those stats, Sarah, they're not great stats.
Well, the fact is that the egg has to go through a lot to become a baby. So the egg has to federalize and only 70% fertilise the egg cast investable as the four out most of the eggs for apps. That's a big hurdle. But that's the first hurdle. Then they form an embryo. And then that embryo has to be a good embryo. And then it has to implant and then it has to continue as a healthy pregnancy.
Wow, I, if I wasn't feeling overwhelmed before I definitely am now.
Oh, look, it's it shouldn't, it shouldn't feel too overwhelmed. Basically, what we're doing is we're just collecting the eggs that would normally just die off. So every month, your IRA has a whole lot of eggs sitting on the surface of it. And there's only enough of your own follicle stimulating hormone, which is hormone from the brain to actually stimulate your ovary so one of them can actually grow up. So all the others are actually just lost. They just die off. So all we're doing is actually capturing those ones that would normally
die off. I think I thought in my head you'd like collect like 200 eggs. What law wells to, you know, I thought like, oh, that'd be like a big bunch. And then they'll be like a little a bunch. But that wow,
okay, lie 200 lie.
That would take a few cycles. So once you've captured them where they kept like they kept they obviously kept
cryofreeze. And is that right? So what are just as big as fees? We talked about our fees before you came on the show. Is that like, it'll be like a, like a blackout, like the fridge will die.
And then though, yeah, they won't be there any longer.
So firstly, they're kept in these big fats at minus 170 degrees. So it's liquid nitrogen. And so that basically is a very secure environment. Obviously. We also have different backup alarms and all the rest of it here. So we've never had any problem right promoters has been going for decades. And there's never been any issue with that. But that's a very real concern. We did you know, occasionally, you have, we have heard of labs, with embryos, having problems with them thawing out unnecessarily, but that that hasn't happened here. And that shouldn't happen in a good lab. In terms of how long can they last they can last indefinitely. So basically, yeah, amazingly, and a child born from an egg that's been frozen for 30 years is no different from a child brought on from a fresh egg or from a something that's been frozen six months. However, ethically, the laws in Australia state that we cannot use our eggs beyond the age of natural menopause, which is 52.
All right, there's a question Is it like when you have a storage kit? You know, room? Yeah. Because your parents can't keep your old stuff anymore? Like does it cost to keep them in storage?
Yeah, it does. It costs around about on average $500 a year. So that's another thing to, you know, really take into consideration when you're counselling patients whether they should go through this or not,
what about Okay, so say, for instance, I ended up, you know, being very blessed and having a family naturally, but I still had all these amazing because obviously, my eggs are gonna be like, super performing eggs. Am I able to then donate those to somebody will give them away to somebody that maybe can't do that?
Yeah, absolutely. So egg donation is something we're doing more and more of, because women leaving things too late, often to use their own genetics. Unfortunately, you know, there aren't a lot of egg donors around because they have to essentially go through this whole IVF process. So it's not easy. It's not like the guys who donate sperm.
Guys have it so far. Like why the guys get it so easy in every aspect of life?
Yeah, so that is happening an hour podcast,
without a lot of your hands. Yeah, exactly. So okay, touching on that what percentage of women actually do and coming back and using their frozen eggs?
So that's a really good question. Look, we've only been really doing egg freezing commercially. So non experimentally, since 2012. But we haven't got the really, you know, long term figures on that. But, you know, from my point of view, the patients that I've seen coming back, this probably only about 20%, at the moment, but obviously, you know, we're early days, a lot of patients will get pregnant naturally. So it's like any insurance, you may hope that you never need to use them. But so it that is usually the most likely outcome.
The alternative, the other people, the people that do come back tend to be still single, still very educated, and still keen to have a family. And then they will go through the donor sperm sort of pathway to to get pregnant. My mom passed away recently, from early onset dementia, which is obviously can be linked hereditary. For someone that does have hereditary disease in their family. Is it possible to ensure that the eggs I phrase don't carry that those genes?
I'm sorry to hear that I lost my mom, too. It's not not fun? No, it's um, it's like, there's obviously there's hundreds of genetic diseases. Dementia is one of those things that is, you know, it's it's hard. Sometimes to find it whether or not there is a genetic cause fed or not, there are some genes that can be picked up. But we need to be tested from that point of view. But the obvious sort of genetic diseases like Huntington's cystic fibrosis, those sort of things, we can, we can actually test the eggs as such straight away, but we can fit quite well now test the embryos. So when an egg is fertilised and creates an embryo, then we grow up the embryo for about five days. And then we can actually take a cell from the embryo, get the DNA, amplify the DNA, and then basically look for those gene defects. And so the egg set, so the embryos that are affected, obviously, we don't put back and the ones that are normal, are the ones that we'd put back. So absolutely, that's something that we do.
So you can't but you said the dementia gene is harder to find or
no it's it's there's obviously lots of different causes for dementia, but certainly if the dementia Jane is one that does, you know, ran present itself present. Yeah, then you potentially could look for that. But it's really genetics is is a really complex field. We have a full time, genetic sort of person here who deals with all of those sort of things. So it needs to have some counselling first, and you need to you know, try and hunt for if there is hopefully there isn't but had some gene defect.
I'm keen to know what's the difference between IVF and egg freezing and you know, what are the different fertility options down the track
the process beforehand, so the workout the actual drugs is exactly the same. The egg collection is exactly the same. IVF by name is in vitro fertilisation. So The difference stats there. So when the eggs are collected in egg freezing, we just phrase the eggs for IVF. We fertilise the eggs with sperm and then grow them up as embryos and then either transfer the embryo around about four or five days later, or freeze freeze embryos. So that's the difference.
So it's the same most of the steps and then you get to that point and new either insert the embryo into someone right away or you put it on ice.
yeah. Okay. Is that what Kim Kardashian did? She did she use a surrogate,
she said to Socrates pregnant.
Yes. So those embryos would then be put into a surrogate.
Yeah. So speaking about those kind of further down the track steps for women that might be gay or single. What is the process then in terms of finding a sperm donor to then fertilise their eggs? Like, do you have like a, an iPad with like, kinda like a Tinder profile set up? And you can like, see the dude's like, what is that sort of next step?
Thankfully, anybody can have fertility treatment now. So that's, that's good. First thing. In terms of getting spam, it's pretty easy. So if you want to do things clinically die laughs
like you're telling me.
So basically depends our fasciola know, we have two sort of main sort of ways of dealing with sperm here. One is to bring your own sperm donor, so somebody that you might pose that don't want to have sex with you. And we would then screen them out and and if their sperm is fine, then obviously use their sperm, they'd have to have counselling with you. The second is to use our clinic recruited donors, which are anonymous donors. Now, there's not many of those around because one guys need to, you know, check a lot of boxes. We get fussy with this firm,
high standards ladies high standards.
Yeah, keep that high. And secondly, because the law states at the moment that a child at the age of 16 can actually should be able to get in contact with their biological parents at the moment through a third party but and a lot of guys aren't comfortable with that.
They don't want a 16 year old a moody 16 year old teenage boy rocking up on their doorsteps.
Yeah, which is probably fair enough. But certainly so we do have some local donors but there's not a huge range to choose from. And then the more commonly sort of approach is to go to spam bank which there are a number around the world we use a California cryobank where it is exactly that tele so you basically look up like a Tinder type thing? Do you get photos, you do get photos, some only put photos of themselves as babies or young toddlers and then the other ones that are a bit more confident and can you know put whatever they want but you get everything Why? I
said why we're well away? I'm sorry. Okay, work. Can you see
the education can you see completely you see their handwriting so they write, they will give you in their own writing, why they are donating they'll provide all their education, you know, what level of education they got up to what their professions are, what their interests are. If they've got children, you know if they're gay or straight, everything obviously all the physical characteristics and then now they all add genetically screened for as many things as we can genetically screen for at the moment. So you're actually getting a much better specimen than finding somebody naturally.
I would much rather do that then actually take my chances with old might on hinge like what the hell that sounds like a win win to
me. Yeah, you can pick it's like
an Uber Eats menu for babies.
Well, yeah, I mean, if you want to pick someone tall, dark and handsome, then it's pretty easy if you want them to be a musician or you know, anything. So obviously you pay a bit more for the
premium Sam Yeah, exactly.
But it's so doable. And then their little sperms Come fly you know, they lie either in in a frozen state, and they arrived here and then we thought about your eggs and we thought the spam and then we just inject the sperm into the eggs and make the embryos. Is there any other process other than like
that in the lab like artificially inseminating Is that a thing for
do you think? Yeah, you can use a turkey base to to tally but that's really unscientific. Yeah, we do. UI where we can, particularly with the overseas sperm, we throw it out. And we basically just time when we actually put that into, we actually put it through the cervix into the uterus. So that's a much sort of more slightly more natural way, I guess, of getting pregnant. The pregnancy rates aren't as good, obviously. But they, you know, it's a cheaper process. And it is, as I said, that doesn't involve a collection or anything like that.
Wow. Oh my god, I have lent. So my mind is blown. I have lent so much. I have so much to think about. I just want to I mean, why am I bothering on all these? You know, terrible first day, it's when I could just skip straight to having like an iPad menu of like, delectable men to impregnate me like I just don't know why I haven't thought of this before. Got my I've got, I've got so much going on in my head right now. Now, you've been amazing. Thank you so much. It's a pleasure. You have given me a lot. A lot to think about. Guys. As always, we want to hear from you guys about your own experiences either with fertility or egg freezing, so please feel free to email us at Hello at too much. telly.com Have you guys ever considered freezing your eggs? Why Why haven't you done it? If you have someone who has frozen their eggs How did that go for you did it work out? And as always, thank you so so much for listening to too much Tally. You can find us on Instagram at too much Tally. You can find the podcast wherever you listen to your favourite podcast, Spotify Apple podcast. Please, please, please leave us a review and tell us what you think. Share it with your friends, share with your family, share it with someone who's probably thinking about freezing their eggs. And as always, I will see you next Tuesday.