Selling Sunset's Mary Fitzgerald updated her fans about her fertility journey over the weekend, and urged them to think about their own fertility as a result.
The reality star and her husband, Romain, were married during the second season of the hit Netflix reality show. While the couple—she's 41, he's 30—are not quite ready to expand their family just yet, Fitzgerald has been open about her family plans and egg-freezing experience.
While she's already a mom to a 23-year-old son, she's been doing fertility treatments in order to fertilize her eggs so that when she and Romain decide to have a baby, they have the best possible chance of a successful pregnancy.
"An update on my embryo freezing journey," she captioned the heartbreaking video she shared on Instagram. "This was definitely not the news we were hoping to get and while it is super disappointing, we are just keeping our heads up."
In the video, Fitzgerald explains that none of the eggs they harvested and fertilized were considered good enough quality to implant, which means she and Romain are back at square one again.
She tells her fans that if they're considering freezing their eggs, they should do it ASAP.
"PLEASE consider doing this at the youngest age possible if you know/think you want to have children!" she urges. "Sharing my experience in hopes of helping anyone who is interested in doing this process."
What is egg freezing?
Choosing to preserve your fertility by freezing your eggs is essentially the same thing as stopping your biological clock. More and more women are deciding to freeze their eggs because they may not be ready to start their family yet, but want the best chance at having children in the future—regardless of age.
Egg freezing can also be an option to help preserve the fertility of patients undergoing treatment for cancer or those who are planning on transitioning. It’s an option every woman should consider by the age of 35 if they want children but simply aren’t ready yet.
Dr. Mark P. Leondires tells Motherly the best time to freeze your eggs is when you’re young. While it is possible for women over 35 to successfully freeze their eggs, completing an egg retrieval before age 35 is optimal, because of the decline in fertility that begins around that time.
Egg freezing occurs after the patient has been taking fertility medications to boost the number of developing eggs (ovarian stimulation). After your doctor determines that the patient has the optimal amount of mature eggs, a "trigger shot" is administered to prepare those eggs to receive sperm. An egg retrieval—a 20 to 30-minute process—is performed about 36 hours later, before ovulation.
As for Mary Fitzgerald and her husband, they plan on doing the whole process again.
"But it is a learning curve and a reminder that even if you look young and feel young, your eggs are still the age you are," she says. "And so if you have been focusing on your career or just haven't met the one yet, you really should consider freezing your eggs when you are young."