I’m A Personal Trainer And Here’s Why I’ll Never Go Low Carb

Plenty of people try low-carb diets, but here’s why I’ve found they’re not right for me.

Hi, I’m Tamara, an athlete and personal trainer, and I love carbs.

Hi, I'm Tamara, an athlete and personal trainer, and I love carbs.

For my clients and friends alike that revelation is shocking. And I’m not sure why, because carbs are some of my favorite foods. Here’s a quick carb lesson if you’re not 100% sure what they are exactly.

Carbohydrates (along with protein and fats) are one of the three main components, or macronutrients, that can be found in food. The main source of the body’s energy, they come in two types that provide fuel for the body – simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are sugars that can be found in sweet treats and drinks (and also fruit, milk, and other foods), while complex carbs, including starches and fiber, can be found in fruit, whole grains, legumes, veggies, and more.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and other experts suggest that adults eat carbs, protein, and some fat as part of a healthy diet, although many diets recommend cutting back on carbs to lose weight. (The research looking at low fat vs low carb diets suggests that both work, but that focusing on healthy eating rather than calorie counting is best.)

I reached out to Abby Langer, RD and owner of Abby Langer Nutrition to talk about the potential benefits of a carb-friendly diet for athletes. And I decided to share why I personally don’t eat a low-carb diet.

Note: This is the eating pattern that works for me, but it may not be right for everyone.

Brooke Lark / Via unsplash.com

I love my figure.


I’ve played sports my entire life and love my athletic build and I don’t plan on losing it any time soon. I feel like eating carbs has helped me progress and recover more quickly in terms of athletic ability and performance, as well as maintain my strength.

According to Langer, “a carb-restricted diet can lead to muscle catabolism. Meaning the destruction of muscle.” She also shared that “a low-carb diet may negatively effect athletic performance, which in turn may effect muscle building.”

Tam’s tip: if your carb intake has decreased and your workout regimen has increased and you still aren’t seeing any changes in your muscle mass, carb consumption – or the lack thereof – may be the issue.

Tamara Pridgett / Via instagram.com

They give me much needed energy.

They give me much needed energy.

If you didn’t know it before, carbohydrates are the body’s first source of energy. When it comes to fueling your body, it’s a good idea to choose whole grain and minimally refined and processed carbohydrates that are rich in fiber, according to Langer.

Here are 13 Things You Should Know Before You Decide To Limit Carbs.

Drake / Via Giphy

And they make me happy.

And they make me happy.

Long-term carb restriction can negatively affect your mood, according to a 2009 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Other research suggests that carb restriction is linked to fatigue and negative affect, which is the tendency to have negative response in moods and emotions. Essentially, cutting back too far on carbs can make you feel lousy, sluggish, and irritable just to name a few of the effects. If you read that and said “that’s me,” consider getting yourself some carbs, erring on the side of the nutrient- and fiber-rich, minimally processed carbs.

E! / Via Giphy

Carbs keep my workout game on point.


As an All-American sprinter who does lots of high-intensity workouts carbs = life. And Langer backed me up on this one. “Research suggests that for optimal performance athletes should still include carbs in their diet,” she said.

Of course, not all bodies are the same, and some will react better to carbs than others so be sure to consult a healthcare professional to develop a nutritional plan that works best for you and your needs. (Take this quiz to see if you can survive a day eating low carb.)

Tamara Pridgett / Via Instagram

My hormones and bones can be effected.


Low-carb diets can increase cortisol (the stress hormone) levels and decrease thyroid hormones, which could increase your risk for illness, Langer said.

Inadequate nutrition also increases the chances of female athletes developing the Female Athlete Triad. Defined by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as “a medical condition observed in physically active females involving three components: 1) low energy availability with or without disordered eating, 2) menstrual dysfunction, and 3) low bone density.”

@ariannadrawings / Via Instagram: @awesomeanatomyart

I love fruit too much.


Fruits like mangos, peaches, apples and bananas ALL CONTAIN CARBS.

hbfit / Via instagram.com

I have commitment issues.

I have commitment issues.

I can hardly commit to what I’m going to wear outside of the house let alone going low carb.

Langer explained that low-carb diets aren’t necessarily bad for healthy people, but following a very restrictive low-carb diet like the Ketogenic Diet might be hard to sustain and adhere to over time, so it probably isn’t realistic.

Nickelodeon / Via Giphy


Yoga Claims Debunked: What the Science Actually Says About Yoga’s Health Benefits


People make a lot of claims about the health benefits of yoga, but do you know which claims are actually backed up by science? In the era of “fake news,” it can be difficult to determine which claims are true and which are false. We’re here to clear it up for you.

Fortunately, there have been many studies conducted about the claims around the health benefits of yoga. In fact, more than seven hundred scientific trials on yoga and health benefits have been published in medical journals, meaning that the information that you want is out there!

Freedom Genesis is a fantastic resource for understanding the diverse health benefits of yoga.

Here Are 4 Yoga Claims and the Actual Science Behind Them


1. Claim: Yoga reduces low back pain

True! A study funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health in 2011 found that yoga was more effective for chronic back pain than other exercises and routines recommended from the book The Back Pain Helpbook.


This study was performed on a population of 228 adults who identify as having chronic lower back pain. According to study leader Karen J. Sherman (PhD, MPH), both yoga and general streching can help to reduce low back pain. Less use of pain medication lasted at least six months for people in the yoga group and the stretching group, but not The Back Pain Helpbook group.


Another study of 90 people with chronic lower-back pain showed that those who practiced Iyengar yoga, a form of yoga that emphasizes precision in posture and breathing, had reduced pain and less disability after 6 months of practice.


Finally, a study on yoga and back pain performed by British researchers found mixed results on the effectiveness of yoga. They compared a 12-week yoga program with the routine care provided by the National Health Service.


The 156 people in the yoga group reported similar pain levels to the 157 people who received normal treatment. However, it was shown that yoga was more effective at improving back function, meaning that it helped with walking, standing, climbing stairs, and other daily back-related problems.



2. Claim: Yoga improves asthma

Inconclusive. There is NO substantial evidence to show that yoga improves asthma. In 2011, a review of studies was performed to see if results showed that yoga improves asthma, but there was not enough evidence to draw any conclusions.



3. Claim: Yoga reduces anxiety, depression, stress, and insomnia

True! According to a Harvard research study, practicing yoga can reduce anxiety, depression, stress, and insomnia.


A German also study indicates that yoga can help those who are “emotionally distressed.” The study revealed that women who took yoga for three months improved in their perceived amounts of depression, stress, energy, and anxiety and the number of complaints of headaches, back pain, and poor sleep decreased in comparison to the group of women who did not take yoga.


Yoga can also potentially help with PTSD, and after a study on Australian Vietnam veterans showed that PTSD symptoms dropped from moderate/severe to mild/moderate, the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C has begun to utilize yoga to help those returning from war.



4. Claim: Yoga helps to relieve arthritis

Inconclusive. In 2011, a review was performed on studies that attempted to find a connection between yoga and arthritis. The results are inconclusive, possibly because there are two main types of arthritis that are very different conditions, and depending on where the arthritis is could change the effectiveness of a treatment such as yoga.


However . . . according to the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, these studies on yoga and arthritis are difficult to interpret because of yoga’s psychological benefit. Yoga may not target the arthritis or arthritis pain directly, but rather can reduce stress and frustration and make working out enjoyable. This can then play a huge role on how someone feels throughout the day in terms of pain.



Bonus! Claim: You have to be a crunchy granola person to be a yogi

False! Yoga is for everybody and it always will be. Everyone can enjoy all of the wonderful physical and mental benefits of the yoga practice, and you are able to participate in whatever parts of the practice you want.


You don’t have to be vegan, you don’t have to be celibate, you don’t have to be flexible, you don’t have to be a hippie, you don’t have to hate shoes, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do to appreciate the yoga practice.


var googletag = googletag || {};

googletag.cmd = googletag.cmd || [];

(function() {

var gads = document.createElement(‘script’);

gads.async = true;

gads.type = ‘text/javascript’;

var useSSL = ‘https:’ == document.location.protocol;

gads.src = (useSSL ? ‘https:’ : ‘http:’) +


var node = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0];

node.parentNode.insertBefore(gads, node);


googletag.cmd.push(function() {

googletag.defineSlot(‘/268437716/In-article_Box1_336x280’, [336, 280], ‘div-gpt-ad-1451354753139-0’).addService(googletag.pubads());




googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1451354753139-0’); });


<ins class="adsbygoogle"




(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});


How to Determine If What You’re Reading is Factual

Before we part ways, let’s review a few tips for how to determine if something you read in the future is true or not.


1. Look into the URL – this is clue #1

If you’re reading from a “.gov” or “.edu” site, it is more reliable than reading about yoga on something like Yahoo Answers, where anybody can post their views and opinions and state them as though they are facts.


2. Look into the details of the study

If it is a well-known health institute or school, their results are likely to be more reliable due to following proper procedures for studies. Look for large sample populations in studies, as this makes the results more accurate.


3. Test it for yourself!

Try out different forms of yoga to see if it helps you with your personal health issues. It may not directly solve your problem, but it may increase your happiness and give you a renewed sense of life despite your health condition.


Have questions, comments, or other insight to share? Please do so in the comments below and keep the conversation going!


The post Yoga Claims Debunked: What the Science Actually Says About Yoga’s Health Benefits appeared first on YogiApproved™.

What Things Do You Do To Get Better Sleep?

Looking for small, doable tips and tricks that have helped you get more shut-eye.

For some people, getting to sleep is a piece of cake. But for others, it can be an absolute pain in the ass.

For some people, getting to sleep is a piece of cake. But for others, it can be an absolute pain in the ass.

^^^ Me on most nights, TBH.

ABC / Via wedoitbetta.tumblr.com

So we want to know: What are your little tips and tricks for getting better sleep?

So we want to know: What are your little tips and tricks for getting better sleep?

What things do you do before bed, throughout the day, or while you’re in bed to make getting quality sleep a little bit easier?

Nintendo / Via imgur.com

Maybe you simply decided you weren’t going to bring your phone to bed anymore.

Maybe you simply decided you weren't going to bring your phone to bed anymore.

No more scrolling through Instagram in the middle of the night.

E! / Via buzzfeed.com

Or you stopped eating foods that were high in sugar or sodium at night because you realized they were keeping you up.

Or you stopped eating foods that were high in sugar or sodium at night because you realized they were keeping you up.

Or maybe you found foods that actually help you get some quality Zs.

FOX / Via everybodylovesbobbyhill.tumblr.com

Perhaps you started journaling before bed so that you got all your to-dos and random thoughts off your mind and down on paper.


Just over here trying to keep my never-ending spiral of thoughts to a minimum.


Via idownloadblog.com

Maybe you started listening to some white noise or soothing podcasts.

Maybe you started listening to some white noise or soothing podcasts.

Who doesn’t love the sound of a babbling brook?

Nickelodeon / Via tenor.com

Or you decided to give up naps and start sticking to a regular sleep cycle, EVEN on the weekends.

Or you decided to give up naps and start sticking to a regular sleep cycle, EVEN on the weekends.

Because getting a solid night’s sleep is probably better than a two-hour nap in the middle of the day.

FOX / Via giphy.com

Hot Mama! Blake Lively Lost the 61 Lbs. She Gained During Pregnancy: ‘Feeling Very Proud’

[brightcove:5716625638001 default]

Blake Lively’s stats: mom of two, owner of six-pack abs.

The actress, 30, showed off her newly-ripped body after 14 months of hard work with her trainer, Don Saladino, to lose the weight she gained during her last pregnancy.

“Turns out you can’t lose the 61 lbs. you gained during pregnancy by just scrolling through Instagram and wondering why you don’t look like all the bikini models,” Lively joked on Instagram. “Thanks @donsaladino for kickin my A double S into shape. 10 months to gain, 14 months to lose. Feeling very proud.”

Lively is mom to daughters James, 3, and Inez, 16 months, with husband Ryan Reynolds. After her pregnancy with James, she felt like her body was different, but she was okay with that.

“After I had a kid I thought, ‘Okay, this is what my body looks like. This is amazing – I earned this body,’ ” she said in 2016. “’And it’s not as good as it was before I had a kid, but, oh well.’ ”

But then Lively quickly jumped into shooting The Shallows, and had to be in surfer shape within 10 months, which she said was a “nice advantage.”

“I’ve never been in that great a shape in my whole life,” she said. “So to do it after having a kid was actually really nice. Because you see your body after having a kid and it’s beautiful because you just gave birth, but it’s also ‘Oh my god, this is not what my body looks like.’ You feel like you’re never going to get your body back again.”

Lively also worked with Saladino ahead of The Shallows, and followed a strict gluten- and soy-free diet.

“I did no gluten and no soy,” she said. “Once you remove soy, you realize you’re eating no processed foods. So that’s basically what I did. No processed foods and then working out. [It] seems like, ‘Oh, that’s really easy to cut that out,’ but then you realize, there’s soy in everything. Like, everything you eat, there is soy in it. Even if it’s healthy, Whole Foods-organic stuff, there’s always soy in it.”

But luckily, Lively didn’t have to cut out everything delicious.

“I was still able to have sugar and all of those things. It’s all in moderation. You just have a balance of protein, carbs, and vegetables. And it wasn’t the worst. Like, I was eating rice and sushi.”

This Dating App Is All About Helping You Find Mindful Love


MeetMindful is where mindful living meets online dating. This dating app has a clear – and respectable – mission: to empower mindful people to make meaningful connections everyday.


MeetMindful is a new subscription-based online dating service that’s a soulful alternative to other dating apps and sites out there.


What makes MeetMindful different?


Here you’ll discover a like-minded community where you can find people that share your same mindful, spiritual, and wellness values. Intentional connection, meaningful commonalities, and relationships based on core beliefs – sounds pretty awesome right?



Let’s Meet MeetMindful

This dating site is all about meaningful relationships in alignment with mindful living. If you lead a healthy, conscious lifestyle and want to find someone who shares your same path, MeetMindful was made for you!


When you live a mindful life, it means you live from a place of intention, awareness, and authenticity.


While dating is the primary focus, MeetMindful is also about finding and establishing meaningful connections within your community. In fact, MeetMindful refers to themselves as a “relationships company” with its primary purpose of connecting like-minded people to establish deeper, more meaningful relationships.



MeetMindful Is All About the Evolution of Online Dating

While other dating apps rely heavily on appearance – often mainly</em on appearance in the case of swiping through photo profiles – MeetMindful establishes meaningful connections based on more than just looks. A lot more.


When you create your profile, you’ll receive guidance and ongoing feedback to help you express and really hone in on what makes you YOU – why you’re here, what you’re looking for, and what inspires you.


Fitness, yoga, spirituality, meditation, mindfulness, health and wellness, travel, green living, personal growth, conscious diet – these are the values that Meet Mindful users share.




Other Unique Features You’ll Fall In Love With

Dating can be fun and exciting, but it can also be challenging. One of the great features of this dating app is the free articles on everything from dating advice, sex, love, dealing with tough emotions, and mindful living.


MeetMindful also hosts a big selection of dating experts to support you on your journey. From manifesting your soul mate to love, sex, and conflict resolution, you can find advice from industry experts on basically anything dating-related.


These are valuable resources for anyone in the dating world!


Mindful Living and Conscious Dating Unite

Mindful connection is a really important feature for the spiritually-minded guy or gal. When you live a mindful life, it means you live from a place of intention, awareness, and authenticity. You live in alignment with your core values, passions, and beliefs.


When you walk this path of mindful living, you want someone who can walk that path with you. Someone who relates to you, who gets you, and who wants to do the same things you do.


Ready to have a more mindful dating experience? Try MeetMindful today.


The post This Dating App Is All About Helping You Find Mindful Love appeared first on YogiApproved™.

7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Freezing My Eggs

Here’s how much egg freezing costs, what it feels like, and a bunch of other things I learned while going through it.

Last February, I decided to freeze my eggs.

Last February, I decided to freeze my eggs.

I was 34, single-ish (I had been dating someone across the country for several months off and on, but it wasn’t proving out to be anything serious), and my employer had recently added elective oocyte cryopreservation (the technical term for egg freezing) as a new benefit.

At the time, I saw it as pretty much a no-brainer for anyone thinking about getting pregnant later on and wondering if they’ll have fertility problems: toss my restless eggs in a freezer and worry about all that baby stuff later? For free*?! (*Soon I would discover that, even with the procedure largely covered by my company, it was very much *not* free. But more on that later…)

A handful of my friends had gone through the process already. Most of them, like me, were unmarried, in their 30s, and not planning on baby making anytime soon. They all assured me that the whole thing wasn’t nearly as bad as it sounded; that it was becoming more and more common and that if my employer was paying for it – I really had nothing to lose.

So I did it. Sometimes I have a hard time remembering it even happened, it was such a blur. But looking back on the entire experience a year later, I’m struck by how much I didn’t know going into the whole ordeal that may have changed my decision to do it. I wish I had researched it a bit better and taken the time to mull it over before jumping into the growing, but still quite small pool of fertility preservationists.

So I’d like to pass these small bits of wisdom to you.

Note: This is my personal experience with the egg retrieval process, and not everyone who undergoes egg freezing will have the same thoughts, feelings, and experiences that I did.

Paul Robertson / Via giphy.com

Your frozen eggs may result in a real-life baby. But don’t count on it.

Your frozen eggs may result in a real-life baby. But don't count on it.

Science is pretty f*ing amazing. The fact that egg freezing exists – that there is even the slightest chance that a tiny frozen oocyte floating around in a freezer somewhere in Midtown Manhattan might result in a healthy, human being 10 years down the line – is astounding.

That being said: the science behind all of it is still relatively new. The first reported pregnancy resulting from frozen oocytes was in 1986 – and only about 5,000 births from frozen eggs have been reported since. As such, reliable data around success rates is largely limited, confusing, and inconclusive at best.

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the chance that any given frozen egg will result in a baby (even when the mother is younger than 38) ranges from 2-12%. During the egg-collection process, hormone stimulation treatment is used to help patients produce more eggs than they would during a normal cycle, so that multiple eggs can be collected and frozen.

But even with a bounty of a baker’s dozen eggs or more (which would be considered a very successful round of egg collection and freezing) – the chances that the eggs will survive freezing, thawing, fertilization, and then result in a successful implantation and pregnancy are often very low. This is especially true for women who freeze their eggs after age 35; who are trying to get pregnant in their 40s; and who underwent treatment using an older, slow-freezing technique.

While fertility clinics note that recent studies show a 90+% survival rate of frozen eggs using a newer vitrification technique – that figure only accounts for the freezing and thawing part of the process. It says nothing about the likelihood of fertilization and a successful to-term pregnancy. (And as this heartbreaking story demonstrates – it is disappointment in those final stages that can be the most traumatic and agonizing.)

So – long story short: freezing your eggs is faaaaar from an insurance policy. The reality is, while you are giving yourself another (small) chance at having a child later in life – you shouldn’t count on it as a solid Plan B. It’s a Plan C at best – and a pretty stressful one at that.

Christine Huang

There will be blood. And needles. And DIY home chemistry involving strange solvents and powders and stuff that can all be very frightening. Prepare yourself.

There will be blood. And needles. And DIY home chemistry involving strange solvents and powders and stuff that can all be very frightening. Prepare yourself.

If you’ve done any preliminary research, you know that the scariest part of this whole thing won’t be the egg retrieval procedure itself (though, to be fair, the idea of a needle traversing through your vagina and into your ovaries to slurp out a bunch of hormonally induced eggs will take a minute to get comfortable with.)

No – it’s the two weeks leading up to the procedure that the real fun happens. And by “fun” I mean a rigorous schedule of twice-daily, self-administered hormone injections that would make even the most practiced factory chicken tremble.

So I’m not going to sugarcoat this.

Waking up at the buttcrack of dawn every other day to get your blood drawn at a cold, depressing fertility clinic; shooting yourself with a syringe full of hormones twice every day (the moment you wake up and every night before you go to bed); feeling – and watching – as your ovaries swell to several times their normal size within the course of days – none of it is easy. It gets better after a couple of times, but those first few days will be scary (and for those with any discomfort around needles – straight up harrowing). And on top of all that – some of the medicine requires precise mixing of powders and solvents, temperature control, and timing. And if you mess up any one of those variables, it can be a big deal and ruin your whole retrieval cycle.

That being said: while by no means a piece of cake – it’s all doable. After the first couple of days, the shots become routine and the mixing and timing almost second-nature. You learn what tips and tricks work for you. For me, it was icing the area for your shots 10-15 minutes before each one, injecting the solution very slowly so as to make its entry into your system less shocking (and therefore less painful), and recording each shot location and timestamp in my notepad app to ensure I wasn’t missing doses and wasn’t shooting myself repeatedly in the same place. Truth be told: the shots themselves don’t really hurt that much. The needles are so thin and small they’re hardly painful. But wrapping your mind around all of it, and convincing yourself this is worth doing for 14 or so days, can be tough. That’s why it’s important to remind yourself that yes, this will suck -but it’s all tolerable with the right attitude, organization and discipline. I’m a total disorganized wimp, and I survived. So let that be an inspiration to you all!

South Park / Via giphy.com

Health risks and complications are uncommon – but they do happen. And some of them can be life-threatening.

Health risks and complications are uncommon - but they do happen. And some of them can be life-threatening.

I didn’t know that you could die from egg freezing. (It’s super rare and probably won’t happen to you – but it can happen.) I also didn’t know that the long-term effects of extended and recurring hormone stimulation are still unclear. So before you decide to go through with the process, read up as much as you can about all the risk factors involved (ovarian torsions, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, hormonal side effects and retrieval complications, and the emotional risks of this procedure…to name a few.) Here’s a good place to start reading about the side effects of freezing your eggs. While the worst case scenarios are definitely in the minority – I would still advise being as informed as possible about any possible risks before committing yourself to this elective procedure.

Diego_cervo / Getty Images

Egg freezing is a lonely, emotionally taxing process. There will be moments of “Is this my life, now?” reckoning. Don’t be afraid to lean on friends, family, and community to help you through it.

Egg freezing is a lonely, emotionally taxing process. There will be moments of “Is this my life, now?” reckoning. Don't be afraid to lean on friends, family, and community to help you through it.

One moment I was lying supine on a hospital gurney, legs in stirrups, listening to Kansas blaring from a shitty radio while a group of doctors and nurses nonchalantly scuffled around me prepping various drugs and apparati for my egg retrieval. The next, I was staring out the window onto a big parking lot, unsure of where I was or what had just happened. My friend/ersatz partner Brent appeared by my bedside, and I started putting together the pieces of where I was (the hospital) and what I had just done (scooped out my 20 factory-farmed eggs). The anesthesia had rendered me pretty useless, so Brent escorted me home in a taxi while I slowly regained mobility and full consciousness. We ordered food and he hung out with me until I fell asleep. Without him, I don’t know how I would have managed to get through that day.

You’re freezing your eggs because for whatever reason, you are not in a place in your life to start a family, yet there is a piece of you that knows you still want the chance one day. That can be a lonely reality to come to terms with.

But don’t let that make you turn inward or alienate yourself from people who want to support you through what will be an emotionally stressful process. I was lucky to have great friends and family with whom I was very open about my fears and experience. I also had two friends who had gone through multiple egg retrieval cycles before and who offered their help or guidance any time of day, with any issue. My on-again, off-again boyfriend in California at the time was also a rock during the process – even FaceTiming with me the first couple of times I took my shots. I knew they were in my corner – even if only virtually – which helped me face each day without breaking down.

And you’ll also be pleasantly surprised by the number of welcoming, helpful communities there are online to support you – and even make you laugh. BuzzFeed’s own Doree Shafrir has built a thriving community around her fantastic podcast Matt and Doree’s Eggcelent Adventure, which chronicles (with refreshing candidness and levity) her experiences in IVF with her partner, Matt. Though focused primarily on people undergoing IVF rather than egg freezing, Matt and Doree’s podcast and facebook group helped me feel like I wasn’t alone, and that there was a lot I could learn about myself and even laugh about through this process. I highly recommend you find and join support groups like these to learn more and prepare for your procedure.

NBC / Via giphy.com

If you don’t want to be pregnant now, but there’s a sperm you’re not mad at – consider freezing embryos (fertilized eggs) instead of eggs.

If you don't want to be pregnant now, but there's a sperm you're not mad at - consider freezing embryos (fertilized eggs) instead of eggs.

If you’re with a partner with whom having a family with is not completely out of the question – or if you’re considering a sperm donor for future baby potential, freezing an embryo might be something worth considering. After reading through many forums and blogs on the matter, I found that one of the biggest regrets among women struggling through unsuccessful IVF rounds (using both fresh and frozen eggs/embryos) is that they didn’t freeze embryos at an earlier age. Eggs are more fragile than embryos, meaning there is a higher chance that some can be lost in the freezing, thawing, and fertilization process. So if a decent sperm donor is in the picture now – it won’t hurt to look into options beyond egg preservation.

Giphy / Via giphy.com

During the hormone treatment, it’s normal for your emotions to be all over the place. Don’t let it scare you. But don’t do anything you’ll regret.

During the hormone treatment, it's normal for your emotions to be all over the place. Don't let it scare you. But don't do anything you'll regret.

One of the best pieces of wisdom I received from a friend who had gone through this process was, “Do NOT make any big decisions during your hormone treatment. Your brain isn’t your brain for those weeks. Don’t trust it.” I tried to heed her advice. But when hormone injections push your estrogen to 10x times their baseline level, and your stomach has bloated to the size of a small watermelon, and you’re alone, staring at yourself in the mirror for the 13th day in the row jabbing a needle into your thigh – feelings get stirred. It’s okay to feel not okay. It’s important to step back and remind yourself that what you’re doing is a big deal on a cosmic level: you’re using science to control your future reproduction. It’s terrifying, miraculous, empowering, and traumatizing at the same time. You’re going to have mood swings at times. The key is to be ready for them, and to set up preventative measures to keep yourself from spiraling into a hormonally-charged tailspin. Have a sponsor to text whenever you’re feeling especially emotional. Delete your ex-partners’ phone numbers. Give your social media passwords to a good friend for the month. Do all that you can to protect yourself from letting the hormones get the best of you.

Ramzpaul.com / Via giphy.com

Finally: this sh*t is EXPENSIVE!

Finally: this sh*t is EXPENSIVE!

Even if elective oocyte cryopreservation is technically covered by your employer – prepare to shell out at least $1000 for this whole thing – and without coverage, in the ballpark of $10k. And some costs you should consider (that likely will *not* be covered by insurance, no matter how plush your company benefits) are…

  • $500-1500/year storage fee to pay to keep your lil’ buggers on ice
  • $600+ for fertility drugs (much of which you won’t actually use, but you’ll be instructed to purchase more than enough of, “just in case”)
  • $1K-10K for another round of egg retrieval, if the first round results in fewer eggs than you’d anticipated (they say a “good round” is 10 eggs or more, but it could be less or more)

TL;DR: With insurance/employer coverage or not: financially, this is no small investment. Fertility treatments are glimpses into the wild bio-hacked future. Expect to pay for the privilege of participating in this little experiment.

Comedy Central / Via giphy.com