Olympic athlete Emma Jeffcoat received bad news from the fertility clinic. Now she is taking a bold move at just 28: ‘It was confronting’
An Olympic triathlete who always dreamed of being a mother has revealed why she decided to freeze her eggs at the age of 28.
Emma Jeffcoat made the life-changing decision to visit an IVF clinic last year after a serious ankle injury prevented her from exercising.
The athlete first visited an IVF clinic at the age of 22 and was told that her egg count was high and that she should come back in five years.
However, when she returned to the clinic last year, the diagnosis was not so positive.
“The number and quality of my eggs has drastically reduced,” she said 7 Life.
“The best thing I could do was to act right then and there.”
Emma Jeffcoat, (pictured) 29, decided to freeze her eggs after an injury prevented her from exercising
The athlete was told during a visit to an IVF clinic in 2023 that her egg count was ‘drastically decreasing’
Ms Jeffcoat underwent two egg collection procedures and began injecting herself with hormones which she quickly discovered had some unpleasant side effects.
“I was anxious, upset and it was confronting,” she said of the experience.
‘I’m an elite athlete, so I rely on my body to perform. I put on weight and my hormones were all over the place.’
Fortunately, both egg harvesting procedures were a success.
The triathlete – who represented Australia at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 – was not always so sure that she would be able to have children.
At just three years old, her appendix burst and she was rushed to hospital.
The following year, Ms Jeffcoat was hospitalized with septicemia – which has a mortality rate of up to 50 per cent – as well as a bowel obstruction.
She spent a year in hospital recovering and left with severe scar tissue on her ovaries and damage to her fallopian tubes.
Ms Jeffcoat said she was not surprised that she started her menstrual cycle as a teenager before it disappeared for 10 years.
At the ripe old age of 22, she became curious about her reproductive system and made the life-changing decision to visit an IVF clinic.
Emma Jeffcoat made the life-changing decision to visit an IVF clinic last year after a serious ankle injury left her unable to exercise (pictured)
With her eggs safely in a freezer, the triathlete encouraged other women not to simply assume they will get pregnant naturally.
She encouraged women to take their reproductive options into their own hands and not assume that they can get pregnant naturally.
“Women can now focus on their career (but) the truth is we have a body clock,” she said.
“As we pursue career goals and ambitions, we can examine our own fertility and have the power to act when we need to.”
Ms Jeffcoat is currently focusing on qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics.