Let's talk about eggs.

[Vlog] Diary of My Egg Freezing Experience in the Philippines

When I decided to do egg freezing in the Philippines, it was a lonely path. In a country dominated by traditional and strict Catholic values, finding your allies when making progressive empowering decisions is not always easy.

I’m a happily single 30-something woman. At the rate I’m going, I feel like I’ll be in my ’40s when I’m finally ready to raise my own kids—whether as a single mom by choice (SMBC), surrogacy, or through other possibilities. Maybe I’ll meet my lifelong partner at a later age, or maybe never. Whatever life has in store for me, I’m glad I didn’t settle for the straight path.

Let’s talk about eggs.

Egg freezing, also known as elective or social freezing, is an option for healthy, unmarried women like myself or couples who aren’t ready to have kids yet but would like to bank their eggs before they hit their late ’30s or ’40s when the fertility rate drops.

It took me five years to make this decision. I’m aware of the risks, pros, and cons. I know there’s no guarantee I can produce a child from this. Statistics show that when you opt for egg freezing, you will lose many eggs in the process—during harvesting, thawing years after, and actual fertilization. If this doesn’t work out, I’ll consider other options, like adoption or surrogacy. But for my own peace of mind, I want this option covered so that my future self will have no regrets. Peace of mind can be expensive, I know.

I scheduled my procedure in September this year. After researching on all the fertility centers in the Philippines, I chose the Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine and Infertility (CARMI) in St. Luke’s Medical Center, Bonifacio Global City. I was under the care of Dr. Angela Aguilar, obstetrician-gynecologist and reproductive endocrinologist, who has been my doctor since 2004. CARMI is the only hospital-based ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies) facility in the country.

[Also read: “Why I Decided To Freeze My Eggs“]

Watch my vlog chronicling my 13-day egg freezing journey. Trigger warning: Needles, lots of needle use, and a few clips of the hospital.

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I paid for everything with my hard-earned money. The medical professionals who appeared in the video gave their permission to be part of my vlog and blog.

Why I Decided To Freeze My Eggs

Recap of My Timeline, Plus Details I Didn’t Include in the Video:

July 2019
I went to Dr. Aguilar to let her know I’m 100% ready for egg freezing. She told me to get the CARMI screening and blood tests a few weeks before my target schedule.

August 23
Ovarian blood tests at St. Luke’s Pathological Department. The results will let my doctor know if I’m still a good candidate for egg freezing. I took the same blood test back in 2016 just to see my reproductive health status, which was good. But things can change in years, so I needed updated results.

September 2
After seeing the blood test results, Dr. Aguilar gave me the go-signal for egg freezing. “We start as soon as your period arrives,” she said. “Text me when it does and be ready to rush to St. Luke’s. I will walk you through the steps.” She gave me the estimated budget and schedule. I lightened my workload and made sure I didn’t book any big projects in September. To be safe, egg freezing patients are warned: “No exercise, stress, caffeine, partying, or alcohol throughout the procedure.”

With Dr. Angela Sison-Aguilar (left), obstetrician-gynecologist and reproductive endocrinologist

Day 0, Sept. 10
My period started. I rushed to St. Luke’s for blood tests. I also stopped drinking coffee and eating chocolates—a huge sacrifice for a caffeinaholic like me.

Day 1, Sept. 11
Follicle monitoring (trans-vaginal ultrasound) to see my ovaries. Dr. Aguilar saw 13 potential follicles! She calculated my dosage for Gonal-F injections (naturally occurring hormones to stimulate follicles, a.k.a. eggs). The nurse administered the first Gonal injection (subcutaneously below the belly button), which I’m supposed to do on my own every day on the same hour. I took a video to show my nurse cousin, Teta Dela Fuente Juliales, because I was too scared to do it on my own. I took home several boxes of Gonal pens to be stored in the fridge. I started having caffeine withdrawal symptoms—extreme headaches!

Day 2, Sept. 12
I asked my nurse cousin to administer my second set of Gonal at home. She injected the first part, and I was able to inject myself (begrudgingly) for the remaining dose. Seconds after, it felt like insects were crawling inside my belly. Gonal side effects I experienced: immediate headache (on top of my caffeine withdrawal headache), dizziness, and lethargy. Note: Side effects differ per person.

Day 3, Sept. 13
Back to St. Luke’s for blood tests in the morning and follicle monitoring in the afternoon to see if the injected hormones were working. Dr. Aguilar saw only 8-10 follicles this time, which made me sad because I thought I “lost” three eggs. The nurse injected Gonal for me because I chickened out of doing it on my own. I took home more boxes of Gonal pens.

Dr. Aguilar told me to stop overthinking the follicle count because it won’t determine how many eggs they’ll retrieve on the final day. “You need to relax,” she said. I told her about my caffeine withdrawal symptoms, so she said, “You can have one cup of coffee a day.” My body is used to daily caffeine, so quitting cold turkey will be more stressful for my system. Even pregnant women are allowed one cup per day.

Gonal-F multi-dose pre-filled pens are easier to use than regular injections. It’s similar to insulin pens.

Day 4, Sept. 14
I took ½ cup of brewed coffee and a glass of iced tea to counter the withdrawal symptoms. Mama and I were on the road, so I injected myself with Gonal while stuck in traffic. Don’t worry; my mother was driving and I made sure there were no cops who might’ve thought I was up to something shady.

Day 5, Sept. 15
My body started adjusting to having low caffeine, so I decided to stick to Teecccino (coffee substitute) at home and decaf when I’m out. I injected myself with Gonal at home. No rigorous exercise, but I still walked my dogs every other day. I felt guilty. What if I lost the eggs because I walked my dogs? What if the caffeine affected my egg count?

Day 6, Sept. 16
Follicle monitoring and Gonal injection in the afternoon at St. Luke’s. The doctor counted 17 follicles! I was so happy. It took the guilt away. That means I can continue to walk my dogs. I took home a new set of injections called Cetrotide (to prevent premature ovulation), which must be administered via intramuscular route on my arm starting the next day. For the life of me, I couldn’t do that on my own, I asked Nurse Teta to do it for me.

In CARMI, I chatted with so many women who were getting IVF and IUI treatments. I was the only one doing elective egg freezing in my batch, but it was nice to compare notes and swap stories with my egg neighbors.

Kate was here: Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine and Infertility (CARMI) at St. Luke’s Medical Center, Bonifacio Global City

Day 7, Sept. 17
I couldn’t sleep the previous night because of frequent pee trips to the bathroom (another side effect of Gonal). More headaches. Fatigue. I tried injecting Gonal on the skin above my belly button—ouch, never again! Note to women doing IVF and egg freezing: Inject Gonal only below the belly button where it hurts less. Nurse Teta injected Cetrotide on my arm. I immediately felt dizzy after.

Day 8, Sept. 18
Follicle monitoring, Gonal injection, and Cetrotide in the afternoon at St. Luke’s, which was starting to feel like my second home. During waiting hours, I would set up my portable office in the café, and then chatted with my egg neighbors in CARMI while waiting for the doctor. They counted 19 follicles in my ultrasound, but only 15 might make it.

I had this cooler bag with me every day throughout the egg freezing process. What’s inside? Gonal pens, Cetrotide injections, and maybe a few snacks.

Day 9, Sept. 19
Finally, fewer headaches! But I felt so bloated and lethargic. My breasts were tender. I was so emotional that I would cry after watching Netflix sitcoms. I missed my yoga sessions. Nurse Teta injected Gonal and Cetrotide for me.

Day 10, Sept. 20
This is the longest I’d gone without coffee in my adult life. I felt so emotional. Is this a preview of what pregnancy is like? My sister (who’s a mom) laughed at my question. “Wait ‘til you really get pregnant,” she said. Nurse Teta injected Gonal and Cetrotide for me. I couldn’t sleep well that night. I went to the bathroom to pee around 15 times. I couldn’t wait for this procedure to be over.

I hate needles, but I had to woman up for this procedure. Check out my flat lay of Gonal and Cetrotide injections.

Day 11, Sept. 21
Longest day! I took a blood test at St. Luke’s at 6am. I set up my MacBook in the coffee shop so I could work while waiting for my blood test results. I finally found St. Luke’s cafeteria for more affordable food and natural sunlight through the windows. I spoke to my anesthesiologist who studied my medical history to prepare for my egg extraction. Dr. Aguilar’s nurse administered my final Gonal and Cetrotide in the late afternoon. Rejoice! I took home my final injection, Pregyl, also known as the trigger shot, which will stimulate the release of the eggs in time for the extraction procedure on Day 13.

I panicked because Nurse Teta wasn’t available for the 9:30pm trigger shot, so we hired another nurse to inject at 10pm. It hurt like hell, and I nearly had an anxiety attack because we were late by 30 minutes, but I was glad we got it over with!

Final injection: Pregyl, also known as the trigger shot

Day 12, Sept. 22
Rest day. No more injections. I felt so bloated. After weighing myself daily since day 1, I noticed I gained four lbs.

Day 13, Sept. 23
D-Day! I followed the prep list they gave me (ex. midnight fasting, bathe in the morning but don’t apply lotion or any beauty products). I arrived in CARMI St. Luke’s at 8:30am with my mother. I filled up the forms, got dressed in a hospital gown, and hid the Amazon Jungle that is my hair in a bun and cap. The nurse placed the IV drip. I was wheeled into the operating room (egg extraction is considered a minor surgery). I met my operating team—fertility specialist Dr. Aguilar, a cardiologist, anesthesiologist, embryologist, and nurse. I took additional cardiology tests because I have a heart condition.

The dragon is ready!

“Get them all out of me now, please!” was the last thing I said before they injected the anesthesia that put me to sleep.

The next thing I knew, I was back in the recovery room, waking up and feeling groggy. It was over.

So, How Many Eggs Did I Produce?

Based on what I’ve read in forums, blogs, and articles, the average number of eggs (oocytes) women produce during one round of egg freezing is 10-15. The ideal number is 20 eggs and above, but this is expected from healthy women in their ’20s. Women in their ’30s should expect only about 10-15, and even lower when you reach your ’40s or if you have a hormonal disorder like PCOS.

Imagine my jolt of excitement in the recovery room—still groggy from anesthesia—when the nurse went up to me and whispered, “We got 27 eggs.”


Yes, this curly-haired dragon in her ’30s laid 27 eggs! I wanted to jump out of the hospital bed to do my crazy happy dance.

For the next three days of recovery, my entire tummy area was in pain and I could not walk properly.

Five days after my egg extraction, I went back to Dr. Aguilar for a checkup. She explained that out of my 27 eggs, three are germinal vesicles that cannot be used. That leaves me with 24 healthy, viable eggs now frozen and tucked safely in CARMI, St. Luke’s.

The Million-Dollar Question: How Much?

In CARMI St. Luke’s, egg freezing costs ₱400,000-P450,000. The total bill depends on your health and reproductive level. I had to shell out more money for cardiology tests because I have a heart condition. The total bill differs per person.

Breakdown of My Costs:

Initial blood tests:
CARMI Infection Screening Package = ₱6,736
Anti-Mullerian Hormones = ₱3,979
Complete Blood Count = ₱585
Blood Typing = ₱517

Day 0-12:
Day 0 blood tests = ₱12,633.00
Follicle monitoring (trans-vaginal ultrasound) at CARMI = ₱1,404 x 3 = ₱4,212
Follicle monitoring (trans-vaginal ultrasound) at Women’s Health Care Unit = ₱3,024
Gonal, Cetrotide, and Pregyl injections = ₱141,000
Day 3 blood tests = ₱6,783
Day 11 blood tests = ₱3,509
Consultation fee ₱1,000 x 8 (I saw Dr. Aguilar a total of eight times this year) = ₱8,000

D-Day: Egg Retrieval Day (Day 13):
Professional fees total (fertility doctor, sonologist, embrologist, anesthesiologist) = ₱97,200
Medical materials, miscellaneous = ₱4,496.83
Additional cardiology tests (because I have a heart condition) = ₱2,679
Oocyte retrieval = ₱83,546
Vitrification (storage fee) ₱16,710 x 2 (because I have many eggs) = ₱33,420

The storage fee needs to be renewed every year until you’re ready to use the eggs.

GRAND TOTAL: ₱412,319.83

Post-Eggo Thoughts

It’s been almost two months since my egg freezing procedure. Here are my biggest takeaways from this journey:

1. I wish I did this in my early ’20s. But then again, would a young and a naive Kate realize the urgency of the procedure, let alone have the money to pay for it? In that case, I should’ve done this five years ago when I first thought about it.

2. I’m glad I produced 27 eggs in one procedure. I read many stories of women who produced only 5-10 eggs, and knowing that has a low success rate, they paid for a second round of egg freezing. The procedure is emotional, tedious, and most of all, expensive. I don’t want to go through it again. Once is enough.

All this egg talk is making me hungry.

3. Aside from the liberating feeling I got from finally banking my eggs, I realized I’m really not ready to have kids right now. In the Philippines, I get a lot of flak from Titas and “friends” who won’t stop pestering me to get married and bear children for all the wrong reasons. It’s a Filipino thing, and I’m not a traditional Pinay. I usually clap back, but I’m tired of explaining myself. I’m just glad I didn’t give in to societal pressures at the cost of my happiness.

As for you, my fellow Pinays, don’t ever let bystanders dictate how you should lead your life. Marriage and motherhood are options that are not for everyone. If you decide it’s something you want, don’t let society force you to follow other people’s timelines. Escape the box.

4. Egg freezing is a fragile procedure, so don’t make your decision based only on the price. In Kato Repro Biotech Center, it’s ₱250,000. In Victory A.R.T. Laboratory Phil. Inc., it starts at ₱350,000. In CARMI, St. Luke’s, it goes between ₱400,000-450,000 per round of egg freezing. I’m not saying one is better than the other. Each center has its pros and cons. I have friends who went to different centers, and they’re all satisfied with the results. Do your research before investing your money. Study the culture and medical approach of each fertility center to see if it suits your needs. CARMI matched mine.

5. I invested knowing that egg freezing is a possibility, not a guarantee. If a fertility center tries to convince you that egg freezing is a magical, surefire, and pain-free procedure… hold on to your money and run away! My doctor made sure I understood the risks, pros, and cons. I read so many stories of women who lost all their eggs in the process. I prepped myself emotionally for the possibilities—good and bad.

Twenty-seven eggs aside, I did not put all my eggs in this basket.

My fellow Pinays, are you considering egg freezing? It’s not for everyone, but if you have questions, fill up the comments section below. I’ll try my best to answer your queries, but at the end of the day, it’s still best to consult a fertility specialist.

2021 Update:
Women always ask me: Why did you choose CARMI over the other fertility clinics? Unlike the other clinics, CARMI at St. Lukes gives patients the maximum dose of Gonal for elective egg freezing. Each fertility clinic (whether in the Philippines or abroad) differs in the way they calculate the Gonal dosage. Some clinics give the minimum dose (They have their reasons, which I understand), while other clinics go for the maximum dose (which is why they’re more expensive). I heard of stories where women went to the clinics that gave the minimum dose (thus, more affordable price), and then they were unhappy with the egg count. So they went for a second round of egg freezing, doubling to tripling their expenses. I went straight to the hospital that gives the maximum dose–CARMI.

  1. Hi,, Kate,,

    Thanks for this blog, and it helps me to know a lot if not everything about the egg freezing procedure and its expenses.

    I’m considering egg freezing as I’ll be turning 38 soon, and I currently don’t have a partner or husband, so I’m uncertain when I can start my own family. I’m concerned about my egg quantity due to my age. Did you take any supplements or follow a special diet to increase the number of eggs harvested before the actual egg freezing procedure? Or is the number of eggs that can be harvested determined during the procedure itself? If it’s found that I have a low quantity of eggs, will the doctor provide supplements to enhance egg quality and quantity while waiting for the procedure to begin?


    1. Hi, Jen. My doctor didn’t prescribe any supplements for me, but I did take my usual Vit. C and multivits, made sure I was eating more veggies and other healthy food, and exercised regularly weeks before starting the procedure. No exercise and caffeine during the procedure! Whenever you do a trans-vaginal ultrasound, the doctor will count how many follicles (potential eggs) there are. But please don’t stress out about the numbers or trying to control and improve your fertility. The best advice from my doctor was to relax and keep it stress-free, as that will affect you more than taking supplements. As someone with a diagnosed anxiety disorder, that was hard for me, haha! In the end, they got 27 eggs from me, which was a surprise given my age and anxiety levels. Just do what you can and hope for the best.

  2. Hi Kate. Thank you for this very informative blog. May I know if it is possible to have the initial test (ovarian blood test etc.) on the day of your first consultation? and may I know if it hurts? Actually I’m really concerned about the pain and side effects. I just want to know first if I am a candidate for this so that I could muster enough courage to undergo the 12 days procedure detailed on your blog. I also do not reside in Manila so I want to have the test on the day of my consultation. Thank you.

    1. Hi, Ananda. The initial test is like the usual blood extraction. They will extract blood from your vein and then they will analyze your blood. I don’t like needles, so it hurt for me, haha! I’m not sure I can fully answer your first question. But from what I remember, even if your doctor issues a blood test request for you on your first appointment, your doctor will tell you what day/week is best to extract blood (based on your ovulation), and then you’ll have to fall in line at the pathology department to have it done. The results will be ready after a few hours online. After that, you’ll have to set another appointment with your doctor for interpretation and further advice.

    1. Hi Kate! Have you considered egg freezing in Taiwan? Do you know of pros and cons of having it done there?

      1. Hi, Melissa! My doctor suggested Taiwan as an option. It may seem cheaper abroad, but if you factor in the airfare, hotel/accommodation for weeks, and daily expenses (had I chosen Taiwan or US), it would be more affordable here in the PH. I also wanted to be near loved ones for moral support. 🙂 My doctor said she has patients who chose Taiwan for IVF.

  3. Hi Kate, thank you so much for this blog!
    1) May I ask: What was your “AMH level” before you started? (They say AMH is the most important predictor of # of eggs).
    2) Also, do you happen to know your Day2/3 “FSH” level & Estradiol? You got amazing results (so many eggs!) ❤️ Apart from the expertise of your clinic, I bet your AMH level was also on the above-average side (thus, yielding a great outcome for you)? 😊

    There’s so many American blogs giving detailed breakdown about this procedure in the U.S., but barely few blogs about how it is in the PH. That’s why I really appreciate your posts!

    Egg freezing is SO expensive… But worth-it for the “peace of mind” knowing that “At least, I tried, when this technology was available”.

    1. Hi, Diane. Yes, I blogged and vlogged about this because when searching for egg freezing in the Philippines, I found only one Pinay who blogged about it.

      Yes, it’s a hefty price to pay, but I’m glad women have this option now.

      Tidbit: Did you know that in the UK, IVF is free? I met a Pinay married to a British guy back when I did this procedure. They decided to do their IVF in CARMI because the free healthcare version in the UK allows only one round at a time. If the first round doesn’t work, you have to go through the long waiting list again before getting another free round. They wanted the option to do it over and over (without long waiting periods in between) until they got it right.

      About your questions, let me get back to you when I find my files. I left my files in the province.

      1. Thank you so much Kate. 🙌 What I further appreciate with your blog was how you detailed the process, day by day. 🙌 🥺 I get intimidated by how complex the process sounds (apart from the cost), but your blog really helped me get a clearer idea of what the 12day process (on average) looks like. So, thank you!

        I actually have to edit my former question:
        1. Apart from the AMH, may I ask what was your Day 0 FSH and ESTRADIOL level? (Apparently, other doctors prefer to get the bloodtest for FSH & ESTRADIOL on the very 1st day of period, and not on the 2nd/3rd day. Supposedly, 1st period Day bloodtest gives a more accurate report, than taking it on the 2nd/3rd Day.)

        2. But, when we say bloodtest on the “1st Day of Period”: Do you remember if your Doc told you what is considered as 1st day? Some women have “Brown Spotting/Brown mucus” for 1 or 2 days BEFORE the Red continuous blood flow. (As in, few brown spots here and there. Not the full on red continuous blood flow). Did your Doc mention if you had to do the bloodtest on the very 1st sign of even “brown spotting”? 😅

        And if ever, did you have to rush to St.Lukes asap for the bloodtest? (As in, “Uy, may brown spots na. Rush agad to St. Lukes kahit 11pm na ng gabi? 😅”)

        (For context, I’m based abroad, but planning to look for an Airbnb near the hospital so I can easily go to the hospital for these tests!) 😊

        1. I can answer #2 for now. My period is quite regular. After the slight spotting starts, the regular flow begins within a few hours, so that marked day #1 of my period. I went straight to the hospital after seeing the first sign of spotting. Best to ask your doctor about this. 🙂

      2. 3. Oh and Kate, you mentioned “HMO” in the comments section. May I know which HMO plan you used? I was under the impression that just like in many clinics in the U.S., egg freezing isn’t usually covered by typical insurance plans. I wonder how the ‘hmo’ works in the PH? And I guess, in your context, it only makes the consult fees free (aka, only 8-10k of consult cost was “free” due to the HMO)? 😊 Maraming salamat! (I’ll see how much it also costs to avail that HMO you recommend, and if I can get my money’s worth for it by doing other procedures too–I guess they cover stuff like dental check-up too? Haha. Will do those things when I get back…) 😅

        1. Here in the Philippines, HMO does not cover egg freezing but covers all consultation appointments. Sorry if I can’t mention the name here, because I cut ties with them in the pandemic. But anyway, back then I saved money by using my HMO whenever I had a doctor’s appointment. You’re right, I saved around P8,000 during the process. It’s best to choose an HMO that majority of your doctors accept.

  4. Thank you for your patience in answering all of my concerns, it all make sense to me now. Good to know that the full amount you paid was within the range of what she had told you. That is one of my biggest concern, when I am already in the middle of the procedure and I will be lacking funds if the total costs in the end will go way beyond the amount that the Dr. would tell me.

    Thank you for the tip. Hoping to get close to many as you did eventhough I have PCOS and hoping the price did not doubled up yet from 2019 since I do not have HMO.

    Could you just please confirm, the dosage that she told you on Sept. 2 was it the actual dosage you had on your 1st shot? Thanks again.

    1. Yes, the gonal dosage she estimated for me on Sept. 2, 2019 was the exact dose I got on Sept. 11. In fact, it was also the same gonal dosage she estimated for me back in 2016 and 2018. Good luck and take care, future egg neighbor!

      1. Kate, please don’t get annoyed with me. I have reviewed all our exchange of messages. We missed on one thing, my question about if you still remember what sort of test/blood test have you done before Sept. 2 wherein Dra. was able to determine your gonal dosage? I would like to use that as a reference during my consultation with her.

        Looking back at your post I have read that before Sept. 2 you have done ovarian blood test and carmi screening (not sure). Both of which I have not been asked to do yet and I am not sure if they are needed to determine the dosage for me.

        What I have done so far which is the same as yours is the anti mullerian,complete blood count. In addition, it was not on your blog but I was asked to do prolactin,ths for thyroid and something for diabetes. If you could still remember, for the test I have done, will it be enough for Dra. to determine my initial dosage/estimated breakdown?  Thanks!

        1. Hi Ariela, I saw your comment and found your exchange with Kate quite helpful. May I ask if you proceeded ahead with your consult/procedure, and how is it so far? 🙂

          You mentioned that you have PCOS. I know 2 friends who had PCOS and actually had A LOT of eggs retrieved. I’m not sure if you have high AMH too (high AMH usually coincides with those with PCOS), but for my 2 friends they had a good amount of eggs (17eggs; the other 22 eggs).

          They told me that dosage had to be LOWERED because of their PCOS (so as to prevent Ovarian Hyperstimulation). I suppose this means that lower dosage = lower costs too. 🙂

          1. Thanks for sharing this info, Diane. Even I didn’t know that during my procedure! Ladies, feel free to chat with each other here in the comments section. I’ll approve comments whenever I’m free. I’m sure there are silent readers out there, wanting to hear first-hand info from other women who did it and are looking to do it.

            Ariela, I haven’t forgotten about you! I just don’t have access to my files now. Hope everything is going well with you.

          2. Hi Kate and Diane. Hope you both are doing well. Sorry past weeks was very busy for me. All good now Kate as I am done with my consultation with Dra. Enjoy your vacation Kate.

            As per your question Diane, I haven’t push through with the procedure yet as I have to stop with my pills for few months and take some supplements.

            My AMH is 3.19 ng/mL. Hopefully I would get as many eggs as your friends did. The Dr. said 2 things can happen with a person who has PCOS it’s either you awaken all the sleeping follicles with the stimulant (which is a lot for person with PCOS) as per the Dr. Meaning I can get alot of eggs or if the sleeping follicles doesn’t react much to the stimulant then I will get less eggs.

            Yes you are right, lower dosage means lower costs. Dr. would check everyday or so if the initial dosage is the right one for us and if not they will add or lessen it (even for the one who does not have PCOS) to avoid the hyperstimulation.

            Just drop your questions here or you may also email if that is okay with Kate.

  5. Hi Kate, Thank you for this very informative post. I would just like to confirm, Did Dr. Aguilar immediately gave you the breakdown (expenses) and the dosage (Gonal) that you are going to get right after the consultation/ultrasound/initial tests, or did she only give the costs and dosage to you on the week of the procedure which is the 2nd day of your period? Thank you and hoping to hear from you soon.

    1. Hi, Ariela. Dr. Aguilar gave me a ballpark figure during my first consultation. I got a more accurate breakdown when I decided to do it. I got my gonal dosage on the week of the procedure.

      *Edit: Not a super detailed breakdown, but a general figure per procedure (ex. tests, etc.)

      1. Thank you for your quick response Kate, Reason why I asked you that is, I unfortunately saw your post late so I went to a different CARMI doctor last week but after doing the ultrasound and 5 blood tests since I am decided to do it anyway, she still was not able to give me the exact breakdown and the dosage so that I could prepare financially. She told me to come on the 2nd day of my period which is the procedure day itself and if my understanding is right, She will do the ultrasound by then and that would be the only time that I would know the dosage because the higher it gets then it gets more expensive and also the exact amount that I have to pay but I cannot decide to pay and do the procedure on the same day as it is not a small amount of money. I hope it is not a St. Lukes standard. So, since I saw your post, I am thinking of seeing Dr. Aguilar instead.

        1. Actually, my memory is a bit hazy since that was back in 2019. I’m looking at some of my old files now for you. When she gave me the schedule on September 2, 2019, days before my period started, it included her estimated dose for gonal. I also found an estimated breakdown she gave me back in 2016 (after doing tests), back when I wasn’t sure about egg freezing yet and was just consulting. The breakdown was not super detailed. It was just a rough estimate of different procedures. The breakdown she gave me before the start of my period was also just a rough estimate and not super detailed per item.

          I understand your dilemma, but I trust that all the CARMI doctors will take good care of you. Each doctor has their own way of handling patients, so choose one that you feel most at ease with. 🙂 Yes, the gonal dosage will depend on the status of your reproductive health, which they will calculate after the blood tests and ultrasound. Here’s a tip: Prepare ALL your questions and queries before each visit, to make sure your doctor covers everything. That’s what I did. I had a list of everything on my iPhone notes, even my silliest questions. Our precious eggs (and life savings) are at stake, after all! 😉

          Also try asking your doctor about payment plans. I remember during one visit, I forgot to bring enough money for gonal, so I could only pay for my partial bill. My doctor allowed me to settle the remaining balance on the next visit.

          Another tip: Do you have an HMO? See if your OBGYNE consultation is covered by your HMO. Imagine if you see your doctor 8-10 times throughout this process, you can save P8,000-10,000.

          Good luck and let me know how everything goes!

          1. Sorry for taking your time as you needed to look at your old files (really appreciate it though). I hope you don’t mind on your most convenient time if I have other questions for you based on your post and response as I do not have anybody that I could ask who have gone through the experience.

            Based on your response, I understand now that they ask you to pay ever visit as opposed to paying the amount in full before the procedure.

            I have scheduled an appointment with Dr. Aguilar, that would be next friday. You are right, they are all good and maybe I just have to find who I am comfortable with as you’ve said the procedure is not cheap and for the sake of our precious eggs.

            I have actually written down all my questions too but feels shy sometimes to ask a lot since they have limited time with each patients.

          2. Don’t be shy to ask. You deserve to ask all your millions of questions like I did, haha! I remember jotting down all doctora’s answers just in case I had an anxious moment.

          3. I do the same thing. Writing down the answers from the Dr. I don’t know if it is just me, I feel that Doctors are always in a rush haha.

            Anyway, Thank you so much. I will update you once it is all over.

  6. Hi Kate thanks for sharing your wonderful story! I have been thinking about egg freezing for a few years now and inching closer to do it. I am curious tho about legalities regarding egg freezing, nothing in particular, but is there anything we should know?

    1. Hi, Tata! Here in the Philippines, any woman, with the go-signal of her obgyne, can do egg freezing. The only problem is: When you’re ready to hatch, i.e. defrost your eggs and do IVF, you can only be implanted by your husband. You have to present a marriage certificate. Unlike the US and other more progressive countries that allow any sperm donors, fertility clinics in the Philippines will only allow the legal husband as sperm donors.

      This rule irritates me. Fertility procedures are already unorthodox, and then suddenly they want to go all religious and conservative?! It’s hypocritical. Some fertility doctors I’ve met are annoyed by this rule.

      The solution for now is this: When a single person like myself would like to get my eggs implanted by a sperm donor who isn’t my husband, I have to ship the eggs to another fertility clinic abroad (ex. US, Taiwan, Germany) that will do the IVF. That’s another hefty cost, but according to CARMI, they’ve done it (the shipping) without a glitch.

  7. Thanks for this blog, Kate. I’m 33 and thinking about freezing my eggs. Your blog was not only informative— it also gave me the affirmation that there is still time to decide, and that decision is solely ours. Maraming salamat.

  8. Hi,
    Thanks for the very informative blog post. I am 31 and am considering having my eggs frozen, too. May I ask how old you were when you did this procedure, I saw you mentioned you were around 30’s. I am wondering if I still could wait 3-4 years more, before I have mine frozen, as the procedure costs a lot. Did you freeze more eggs after that? My OB said that 30-40 egg cells are ideal. You mentioned you had 24 egg cells frozen. What was you OB’s suggestion after that? Will wait for your reply. Thanks a lot!!

    1. Hi, Frances. I was 38. Now 40. 🙂 Looking back, I wish I did it in my 20s to early 30s. My OB said I got a good number of eggs given my age. The other women I met doing IVF that month got only 5-10 eggs, but they had underlying conditions such as PCOS. I’m happy with my number. Whatever happens, I’m open to other possibilities, like surrogacy (abroad, because they don’t allow it here in the PH), adoption, etc. 🙂

      1. Hi there!
        Thank you so much for your reply, Kate! I am writing post egg freezing journey. My experience is not as bright as yours was. They were only able to get 9 eggs, only 6 of which is viable. 😔 I asked my OB about it, ofc while mentioning your experience, and she said it might have been of the dosage difference. Would you mind sharing your medication dosages (e.g. Gonal shots dosage per shot) in your blog so that people like me would have a comparison? I don’t have fertility issues and started to question mine because of the results but my OB assured me that I don’t have fertility issues. I am thinking about having a second cycle and would want to research more of the difference in practice they do in the Philippines vs abroad. 😊

        1. Hi, Frances. Let me get back to you on the dosage. I have to find my old files. But if you scroll through the comments section, you’ll see that the main reason I chose CARMI St. Lukes is that they give patients the maximum dose of Gonal for elective egg freezing. Each fertility clinic (whether in the Philippines or abroad) differs in the way they calculate the Gonal dosage. Some clinics give the minimum dose (They have their reasons, which I understand), while other clinics go for the maximum dose (which is why they’re more expensive). I heard of stories where women went to the clinics that gave the minimum dose (thus, more affordable price), and then they were unhappy with the egg count. So they went for a second round of egg freezing, doubling to tripling their expenses. I went straight to the clinic that gives the maximum dose–CARMI. Which clinic/hospital did you go to? I understand your anxiety, but you’re still in your early 30s unlike the old fart that is me, haha! If you have the money, patience, and time to go for your second round, I support you emotionally! But take a break first. Let your body and mind recuperate first.

          1. Thanks again, Kate for your quick response! I had mine in one of the fertility clinics here Hamburg, Germany, since I am currently based here. Normally, if people who have fertility issues do that, it will partly be covered by the health insurance. But since I don’t, I had to pay the full amount. Which is *obviously* very expensive. I wonder if fertility clinics here raise their recommended shots to a maximum, as I think healthcare here is strictly regulated. 🤔 If I eventually decide on going for a second cycle, I might go to where you went. I’ll think about it more, give it time, and research more about it. 😬 Thanks again, Kate! Lovely to have stumbled upon you and your blog! 🧡

        2. Hi Frances,

          Im glad i read your inquiry to Kate.
          I am also here in Germany and would like to have my eggs frozen.
          I have PCOS and ill be turning 35.

          How was your experience in one of the clinics in Hamburg? I am doing some research. I am considering Denmark. As i am single and the Krankenkasse wont cover the egg freezing cost.
          I’d be hapoybto get in touch with u

      1. Sorry, had to break it down in 2 parts as it would be really long. This 2nd part is where all my remaining questions at.

        On September 2, you did a blood test and the Dr. gave you the estimated price. But were you able to remember still at what point did she told you about the exact breakdown which in your case was 412,319.83?

        As, I have not yet been asked to do an infection screening package,ovarian blood test (August 23 based on your post) and blood test worth 12,633 on your day 0 (sept. 10). The tests I have done so far are (anti mullerian,ths- for thyroid,prolactin,complete blood count and something for diabetes) Do you think those tests are enough so that they could give me the exact dosage and breakdown?

        My last question is, Just wanted to confirm, at what point did you get the exact gonal dosage that they are going to give you? Was it during the week of the procedure (sept 10 onwards) as per your first response or was it days before your period (sept 2) as per your 2nd response?

        Sorry for being so detailed about the dosage. It’s because this is where you got me to do it in CARMI when you said that they give the maximum dose to get more eggs as I do not want to be repeating the procedure again.

        Thanks Kate!

        1. Actually, nobody told me to prepare the exact price of 412,319.83. I simply listed all the expenses as I went through the entire thing because I wanted to blog about it. I just trusted my doctor’s estimate during the initial consultation, which was P400,000-450,000. 🙂 When I listed down all my expenses after the full procedure, that’s when I got the total price.

          When you meet Dr. Aguilar, she will give you the estimated schedule, estimated budget, and to-do list. She jotted down my gonal dosage on September 2, but there was no price yet per box of gonal. I found out the price of every medicine and every procedure as I went along. I also paid per visit and per procedure. I simply trusted that everything will accumulate to P400,000-450,000 in the end.

          Another tip: Once you’ve chosen your doctor and you got your schedule and to-do list, always text your doctor beforehand, i.e. “Hi doc, I’m on my way to do [insert procedure name here].” Just to be sure you’re on the right path.

          Also, to be clear: The total of P412,319.83 is only for 2019. I did not include the consultation fees and exams I had in 2016 and 2018.

          Please also expect that your total expenses may be different from mine. I remember chatting with my “classmates” during the egg freezing month—mostly women doing IVF. We all had different doses of gonal and different egg number results. Even with the maximum dose, many factors will affect or contribute to the number of eggs produced. You will meet other women going through IVF and egg freezing in CARMI. Say hi and compare notes! 😉

  9. “As for you, my fellow Pinays, don’t ever let bystanders dictate how you should lead your life.” I love this line, Ms. Kate. I aspire to be a great woman like you soon. I can somehow understand this because there’s a recent kdrama that tackles this kind of topic. You can check it out, Ms. Kate. The title is Oh My Baby. I won’t spoil you but it’s definitely great.

  10. Hi Kate. Thanks for this very informative blog! I love it. I stumbled upon your blog while researching about freezing of eggs. I wonder if there is any way to contact Dr. Aguilar to set up an appointment for consultation? Thank you! 🙂

    1. Hi, Gladys! Send me a private message at facebook.com/k8alvarez so that I can give you the clinic number. 🙂

  11. This is a thorough and honest post that’s not only informative but emotionally-assuring. Thanks for sharing. If I may ask, what made you not go to the other clinics?

    1. Thanks, Moira! The two main reasons I went to CARMI at St. Luke’s:
      1. Dr. Aguilar is there. She’s been my gynecologist for years, so I didn’t want anyone else to touch my ovaries.
      2. They gave me the maximum dose of Gonal. Each fertility clinic (whether in the Philippines or abroad) differs in the way they calculate the Gonal dosage. Some clinics give the minimum dose (They have their reasons, which I understand), while other clinics go for the maximum dose (which is why they’re more expensive). I heard of stories where women went to the clinics that gave the minimum dose (thus, more affordable price), and then they were unhappy with the egg count. So they went for a second round of egg freezing, doubling to tripling their expenses. I went straight to the clinic that gives the maximum dose–CARMI. As you can read in my diary, I got 27 eggs. 🙂 When I visted online forums, I noticed that the average is 10-15 eggs per process. But of course, this isn’t about which clinic is better than the other. All fertility clinics are doing their best to help us women. It’s all about what matches your needs and style. CARMI matched mine.

  12. Kate, thanks for this post. I really learned a lot, I am visiting Philippines soon and thinking to do the same.

  13. This is a very informative blog. Thanks Kate for writing this. I actually have a kid already. But I have many friends who may be interested with freezing their eggs. Although, I think it’s really expensive, there are risks, side effects and there’s no guarantee. I wish you and your eggs good luck! 🙂

    1. Hi, Carla! That’s why it took me 5 years to decide. I needed to fully understand the process and risks before spending my hard-earned money. It’s also the first thing I tell women who ask about egg freezing—that it’s not a guarantee, just a possibility. Thanks for reading! 🙂

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