Apr 17, 2024


Why I froze my eggs in my twenties

Emily Luk

CPA, CFA - CEO and Cofounder of Plenty

Next month, we’re launching egg freezing as a goal you & your partner can save for on Plenty. It’s personal for me: freezing my eggs was one of the best investments I’ve made in my future. It’s given Channing (my husband and cofounder) and I the security to pursue our dreams, build Plenty together, and to wait until we both feel unilaterally ready and excited. It has been one of those moments in life where money buys security and can partially solve a future unknown.

I hope my story, research, and reasoning helps this start a conversation.

-Emily Luk, CEO and Cofounder of Plenty

I froze my eggs at 27 years old.

Me ~15 minutes before my operation, sharing with my close friends on IG.

Photo: Me ~15 minutes before my operation, sharing with my close friends on IG.

I had 50 pills, 26 injections, 6 blood tests, and 7 ultrasounds over the course of 4 weeks (most within a 12 day window), before having a 20 minute mini-operation. They put an ultrasound wand inside my lady parts with a needle that was really a vacuum to suck out eggs (modern science is definitely part wizardry, part MacGyver powers). It cost $12,000 and my medical insurance didn’t cover any bit of it. I had saved up for it meticulously (I shared 1 bathroom with 3 guys for many years in a 'cozy' SF apt). After the procedure, I was surprised at how much relief I felt. It felt more worth it than I had expected.

“But you’re so young!” My friends, mother, and coworkers all confusedly said to me.

My decision was catalyzed by Facebook. It was a Facebook post: a friend who vulnerably shared about their decision to freeze their eggs, only to have a second friend comment about how she did as well.

I was shocked. They both did? I didn’t know how to handle this secret now shared with the Facebook-universe.

I began reading the post, immediately stressed about a reality that I wasn’t ready to acknowledge.

Fertility can be managed, if you give yourself the gift of thinking about it now.

Freezing your eggs… isn’t that something that people in their mid-30’s do, usually because they hadn’t met a partner yet? I’m too young to think about it now… right?


Females have the highest quantity + quality of eggs in your 20’s: in fact, most fertility clinics will only work with egg donors between the ages of 20-30. So then, why do clinics focus on recommending egg freezing to females between 30 and 35?

Because it’s a better business.

Know your customer. The average female in their 20’s probably isn’t thinking about potential fertility issues. They’re not surrounded by people experiencing it, and it’s a still stigmatized topic to discuss. If they’re not thinking about potential fertility issues down the road, it means fertility clinics would have to proactively reach and educate customers. And even once they did, they might not pull the trigger on a $15k-25k price point for a “nice-to-have” vs a “need-to-have”… that is, if that price point hasn’t already priced them out.

In an ideal world, we’d be talking about the realities of fertility when females:

  1. Have a higher quantity of eggs

  2. Have a higher quality of eggs

  3. Still have time to do something about it 

Instead, fertility clinics focus on when ladies are most willing to pay, not when it makes the biggest difference. The egg quality / quantity decline is so significant that many clinics usually won’t freeze eggs for female patients above the age of 35. And yet, the ideal customer profile for fertility clinics are females in their 30’s able to spend tens of thousands of dollars to fight the urgency of their ‘biological clock’. 

And even more surprising? In your 20’s, one round might be enough. The older you are, the more likely you may need 2-3 rounds. That $15-25k investment in your 20’s can end up saving you $45-75k or more, down the road.

Photo: Can you tell my husband's an engineer? This was his hand-drawn diagram tracking the location of each needle he administered around my belly button, since each needle was supposed to be spaced out.

What potential fertility issues?

Here’s one of those taboo topics society doesn’t really talk about: it gets harder to have a baby when you’re in your 30’s and 40’s. I wanted to ignore this topic for as long as possible, until I realized that I was potentially my own worst enemy in becoming a mother one day. So here are a few key points that I learned:

  • Quantity: You have fewer eggs: females are born with millions of eggs. These decrease as we age; the average mid 30 year old only has 2.5% of the eggs they were born with (~27k eggs). Source: Women & Infants Fertility Center

  • Quality: The longer your eggs are inside of you, the higher the probability is of abnormal chromosomes. The probability of Down syndrome for a pregnancy at 30 is 0.1%. This risk increases 10x for a pregnancy at 40. Source: National Down Syndrome Society

  • Bodily Changes: You’re more likely to have endometriosis and fibroids in your mid-30’s; these block an embryo from attaching to your uterus and reduce the probability of natural conception. Source: USA Fibroid Centers

All in all, there’s a 25% probability of conceiving in a given month when you’re 30. This drops to 5% when you’re 40. Then if you’re lucky enough to conceive, there’s a ~20% risk of miscarriage at 30, rising to 40% at 40, then 50% by 42.

I still remember feeling shocked after doing the research.

After a few months of stewing on it, I finally got around to taking a fertility test to measure my AMH levels. I used Modern Fertility and I wouldn’t recommend them. I won’t say that the results were wrong….after getting a full blood draw done in person at a clinic, my results were materially different. My Modern Fertility test results had said I was 10th percentile for my age in AMH levels (read: really bad for the hormone that denotes your expected egg count). That was terrifying. I then redid the test at a proper walk-in lab and found I was in the 50th percentile range. 

I could work with average. Average was great.

I started doing the math. I wasn’t ready to have a kid yet. I had life experiences I wanted to have before becoming a mother: I never wanted to look at my kid with even a shred of resentment at being ushered into a new stage that I wasn’t excited about or mostly ready for. 

And I wasn’t there yet. And neither was my then-boyfriend-now-husband.

We’re dreamers and planners and did what we could to scry into the future. We had thought 4-6 years would be reasonable. That would put me at 31-33 years old. We definitely wanted more than 1 child. Which means… if we push it, the second child would still be arriving when I’m ~ 33-36 years old, depending on breastfeeding/recovery times and sheer luck for a new conception.

Which means I’d be in my mid-30’s. Hello geriatric pregnancy.

For the final kicker: my now-husband and I have independently always loved big families, and wondered what it would take to have more than 2 kids. Pregnancy around 40 started to seem like a real possibility. 

Sway the odds.

Egg freezing doesn't guarantee anything. But if you need to go down the path of IVF one day, it can save you some months or years of harvesting enough eggs to then begin IVF cycles & usually means you'll have higher quality / younger eggs for those cycles. It increases the probability of a successful pregnancy at a time when it could matter.

After freezing my eggs, I completely underestimated how it would feel mentally. I had begun by treating this like an optional insurance policy. I’m the type that doesn't sweat not having travel insurance (though I do try to optimize for it). 

But I never could have guessed the immense relief in knowing… I have a backup. Just in case. It’s now been years since I froze my eggs, and I’ve gone and started Plenty with my husband since then. Each year, we’ve shared a peace, knowing they’re sitting there waiting. 

I didn’t realize it was a peace of mind that money could buy. But it was.

It feels like the days of fertility being highly stigmatized are just beginning to change. People are talking about it. I’ve heard of a parent giving their daughter a round of egg freezing as their college graduation gift. I’ve had a male friend proactively bring it up with his girlfriend, to encourage her to consider it. I’ve heard of more employers begin to offer subsidies, despite the long argued pushback that it “wasn’t fair”.

In the years since, I’ve been excited to see a growing number of companies focused on making this more affordable and accessible. Clinics like Kindbody are driving down prices and selling to employers; Future Family and clinics are partnering up to offer loans, and Milvia even plans an egg freezing trip to spain (helping travelers save up to 80% off the price).[0] 

And today, I’m hopeful that we can do our part by giving individuals and couples a place to save for this goal within Plenty.

Without the vulnerability of my friend on facebook, the incredible support of my partner (who administered each shot, tried to make me feel like the cutest & sexiest bloated pin cushion in the world, and discovered that chocolate does indeed make the needle sweeter), the willingness of my traditional chinese parents to support this ‘radical and unconventional’ insurance policy (who lovingly repeated that perhaps, we should just start trying if it was a worry), and the undeniable good fortune I had to have the financial means to make this decision, I wouldn’t have done it.

I hope by sharing my experience, this can begin the conversation for you or a loved one as well.


  1. “Understanding Diminished Ovarian Reserve: Causes and Treatments”. Women & Infants. https://fertility.womenandinfants.org/services/women/diminished-ovarian-reserve

  2. “About Down Syndrome”. National Down Syndrome Society. https://ndss.org/about

  3. “Can I Conceive Even With Fibroids?”. USA Fibroid Center. October, 2022. https://www.usafibroidcenters.com/blog/can-a-young-lady-in-early-30s-with-multiple-fibroids-get-pregnant/

  4. Kolata, Gina, “‘Sobering’ Study Shows Challenges of Egg Freezing”. The New York Times. July 6, 2023. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/23/health/egg-freezing-age-pregnancy.html

  5. “Egg quality and female age”. Trianglen Fertility Clinic. https://www.trianglen.dk/en/about-fertility/female-infertility/egg-quality-and-female-age#:~:text=The%20woman's%20age%20has%20a,th`e%2036%2Dyear%2Dold

  6. “Egg Quality”. Extend Fertility. https://extendfertility.com/your-fertility-3/egg-quality/

  7. “How Age Impacts Your Fertility”. Progyny. https://progyny.com/education/age-fertility/

  8. “Egg Quality and Fertility”. CCRM Fertility. https://www.ccrmivf.com/egg-quality/

  9. Eagleson, Holly, “Your Chances of Getting Pregnant at Every Age”. Parents. August 25, 2023. https://www.parents.com/getting-pregnant/trying-to-conceive/up-your-chances-of-getting-pregnant-at-every-age/

  10. Shirazi, Talia, “How your chances of conception are affected by your cycle, age, birth control, health conditions (and more)”. Ro. March 29, 2023. https://ro.co/fertility/chances-of-conception/

  11. O’Neill, Claire, “This is how many eggs you should freeze based on your age”. Fertility Space. https://fertilityspace.io/blog/this-is-how-many-eggs-you-should-freeze-based-on-your-age

  12. “Is There An Age Cutoff for Freezing Eggs and Why?”. Southern California Reproductive Center. https://www.scrcivf.com/is-there-an-age-cutoff-for-freezing-eggs-and-why/

  13. Alapañes, Enrique, “Sun, sand and fertility tourism: Spain becomes the world mecca of egg freezing”. EL PAÍS. September 19, 2023. https://english.elpais.com/health/2023-09-19/sun-sand-and-fertility-tourism-spain-becomes-the-world-mecca-of-egg-freezing.html


Emily Luk

CPA, CFA - CEO and Cofounder of Plenty

Emily is the ceo and cofounder of Plenty. Started by a husband and wife team, Plenty is a wealth platform built for modern couples to invest and plan towards their future, together. Previously, she was VP of Strategy and Operations at Even (acquired by Walmart/One) and a founding team member of Stripe's Growth and Finance & Strategy teams. She began her career as a VC, and was one of the youngest nationally to complete her CPA, CA and CFA designations.

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