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Ever wondered what it's actually like to freeze your eggs? Brittany Hockley has documented the process.

Brittany Hockley just got real about what egg freezing is really like.  

The former Bachelor contestant and emergency radiographer, has opened up about the process she went through to have her eggs frozen aged 33 during a recent episode of her Life Uncut podcast.

And she's not skimping out on any of the details.

From the first blood test to what it's actually like to have your eggs removed, Brittany has given us a run-down of what women can expect from the process, including how much it costs. 

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Here's what we learnt from Brittany. 

Why did Brittany Hockley decide to freeze her eggs?

Brittany decided to get her eggs frozen back when she was single, before dating tennis player Jordan Thompson

"The younger I was, I always thought I was going to have four kids have a white picket fence, the two dogs, and live on the beach...  But the older I got, the longer I was single, I started to think maybe it wasn't for me," she explained. 

As she got older, she decided she she wanted to take control over her fertility journey. So in December she went for her first consult after speaking to expert Dr Cheryl Phua of Genea on her podcast. 

"I was like boom I need to go and do something about it. I need to take control of my own life, because nobody else is going to take control of this life for me. And I decided to book in for my consult with Cheryl."

"The reason I decided to freeze my eggs was... I wanted to know that I would have the option down the track if need be... If the time comes on, I can't fall pregnant naturally. There's a weight off my shoulders that I know that tucked away on ice, some little baby Brittanys that are waiting to be created." 

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Having her eggs frozen also comes at a good time, considering herself and Jordan have their own ideas about having children. 

"[Jordan] would be probably leaning more towards not kids for like another 10 years. Whereas I'm like, I definitely have to have kids before then," she explained. 

"So the best thing that we could have done in this situation is freeze [my] eggs. Because if in 10 years time, we do want to have a child, and I can't anymore, I've got those there."

What is involved in the egg freezing process?

Brittany said she started off by getting a blood test and an ultrasound. 

"You get a blood test to test your AMH level. Your AMH level is Anti-Mullerian Hormone and that is a hormone that is secreted by your ovarian follicles. So essentially, the higher the level of your AMH, the more follicles - aka potential eggs that you have - so you want to get a high number." 

She then had an internal ultrasound, which is when "the probe goes into your vagina and they literally just count the follicles that you've got".

After she got her initial results back, Brittany was told she had a 15 per cent chance of falling pregnant naturally. 

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"I was gobsmacked... I wasn't expecting a 15 per cent chance of natural pregnancy. It was really hard. I cried. I got really upset because I immediately... went down the thought track of you're never going to have a baby, your fertility is low, you don't have a boyfriend. It's not on your cards."

The 33-year-old then had to go through two weeks of hormone injections before having her eggs extracted.  

"The two-week hormone injections are, in all honesty, not what I expected... The normal cycle is 14 days of injections. And every couple of days, you might introduce another injection. So I went from starting at one injection and I ended up being doing three injections a day, that is individual to you."

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Overall, she said the process was "quite demanding". 

"Every two days you go back in for a blood test and another internal ultrasound and off those readings it determines are your follicles responding to the hormones, how much they're responding to the hormones, what your levels are at. And that depends if you need more or less of the injections that you're giving yourself."

"A lot of mine weren't responding, which is why I went a couple of days extra and I had some more injections at the end just to really pump them through."

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Instagram @brittany_hockley

The hormone injections also took a toll on her body. 

"The first two days I got a really bad headache like I'm talking one of the worst ones I've ever had. And they do warn you of that day the first two days you get a really bad headache. I was in bed, I was light sensitive, I was taking painkillers, it was really bad. Then it just went and I didn't get another headache for two weeks." 

By the second week, she also noticed herself feeling way more emotional. 

"I was just crying... I was so emotional everything feels like the world's against you. I would cry during an ad on TV... I would have this fight with Jordan and then I would call him back and I'd say, 'I'm sorry, it's the hormones'. He was like, 'I know'. He was really fine because he'd done his own research as well. 

"But the hormones and the feelings you get, like the sadness and the tears, are a real thing."

What surgery was needed for Brittany Hockley to collect her eggs?

When it came time to collect the eggs, Brittany said the whole process was "very, very quick". 

She explained that she chose to be put under for the procedure using anaesthetic. 

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"At [her clinic] you can choose whether you want to be put under anaesthetic or you want to just get an anaesthetic put into your vagina so that the area is numb, I just chose to be knocked out."

During the procedure, a tool is used which Brittany described as a "little vacuum slip and slide" to "suck the eggs outs".

The eggs are then placed in a petri dish and checked to see which ones are healthy enough to be frozen. 

"The whole thing was like half an hour that you're in the operating theatre and then you wake up, you don't remember anything and you go home." 

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Altogether, Brittany had 18 eggs retrieved and 15 eggs frozen, which was "beyond anything [she] could have hoped for".

"I ended up with 18 eggs, which only three were bad. So I got the 15 frozen, and I honestly felt like the second I was told... it was a weight off my shoulders."

"What that meant is 15 of them were healthy enough to be frozen. That does not mean that all of them will survive defrosting when the time comes."

How much does egg freezing cost in Australia?

The cost of egg freezing depends on a few factors, Brittany explained. 

"Every clinic is going to be different, I can only tell you about the clinic that I went through and the experience that I went through. For me, the first cycle of egg freezing costs $4,600. Now, this includes the cycle cost, the freezing and six months storage."

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"On top of that, you need to pay medication costs, which are about $1,500. And that's different for everyone, it depends on what medication you need. And then $1,529 for the day surgery fee. So that's the actual extraction phase." 

All together that works out to be $7,629. But Brittany also needs to pay a storage fee after the first six months. At her clinic that's an extra $45 a month. 

Her co-host Laura Byrne recognised that it's "a privilege to be able to make these decisions" and "it's an investment that gives you peace of mind, depending on where you're at in your own fertility journey".

"I'm so glad I feel like I don't have to think about it anymore. Because as a woman, you do think about it constantly," said Brittany.

"So my advice is to you, if you're thinking about it, you don't have to jump into it. But just start the process, just get that initial blood test and initial ultrasound so that you can have the information you need to make the decision... You don't have to commit to anything. But you've got the information."

Feature Image: Instagram @brittany_hockley

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