Why One “Older Woman” Didn’t Consider Freezing Her Eggs When She Was Younger


Our HR Manager Breeann Pletikosic writes about finding out fertility problems are more likely after the age of 35 – not years ago from her OB/GYN – but only after she started working in fertility.

Why an older woman didn't consider freezing eggs | RSC SF Bay Area | Woman holding nest with eggsSince I was in my early 20s, I knew I did not want to have kids before I was 30 years old. Friends of mine had kids at a young age, and I saw how they struggled and did not want that for myself. I wanted to finish college, establish myself financially and live my life to the fullest before I settled down to marriage and children.

Every year I had my annual Pap exam. Starting around the age of 28, when I would go to these annual exams the doctor would ask if I was planning to have children. And I would say yes, one day I will but I’m not ready yet. She would say, You should start thinking about it soon.

But she didn’t give me any explanation as to why I should not wait to get pregnant. I shrugged her off, thinking that I would have children if and when I was ready.

I met my husband when I was 33 years old, and my now 6-year-old son was conceived naturally when I was 35 years old. Since his birth, at my annual OB/GYN exams the doctor would ask if I was planning to have more children. Each time I said yes, and each time she would say, You might want to consider talking to a specialist.

But she didn’t give me any explanation as to why I should seek a specialist. I thought to myself, Why? I don’t have fertility problems, I have a healthy baby boy that I conceived naturally. Again I shrugged her off.

I discover I’m an older woman

In July of 2015 I began working at Reproductive Science Center as the human resources manager for the practice. I was pregnant then, early in my first trimester. Soon after, I had a miscarriage at 13 weeks and the fetus was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, something that is apparently common in older women.

“Older woman? I was only 40 years old, I had regular menstrual cycles, and I can obviously get pregnant and have a baby. Women in their 50s were having babies, what is the issue with being ‘older?'”

Before working at RSC I had little knowledge of infertility. My assumption had always been that a woman was born with so many eggs and when she ran out she couldn’t have any more babies. I did not realize that the quality of a woman’s eggs also decreased as she got older.

My other assumption was that infertility was when you were unable to get pregnant or carry a baby to term. I did not realize there are so many other factors that play a part in fertility.

I wish I had known that the quality of a woman’s egg played a role in getting pregnant and having a miscarriage. I don’t think I would have had children any younger, but I do think I might have seriously considered freezing my eggs or other proactive measures to help with trying to conceive a healthy baby.

I became so much more aware of a how the woman’s body, reproduction and fertility (for both women and men) work being here at RSC – and eventually becoming a patient. I am now 42 years old, and the quality of my eggs is the main factor that lead me to pursue fertility treatment.

I was afraid of having another miscarriage (I had one in 2013 as well) and did not want to go through that emotional turmoil again. After a year-long process of consultations, egg retrievals, a few minor procedures and embryo testing, I am now pregnant with two healthy babies due in July 2017.


– Breeann Pletikosic, SPHR, HR Manager

Related Reading: Cryopreservation – Egg Freezing

Related Fertility Edge Podcast: Egg Freezing

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