Health

Actress Bresha Webb on Deciding to Freeze Her Eggs

If you haven’t heard of Bresha Webb, you’re missing out. You might know her as Imunique from Love That Girl, as Yvette Brown from Marlon, or as Jasmine in Tyler Perry’s A Fall From Grace. Or maybe without knowing her, you’ve seen her in countless other moves and shows. Her new TV show, Run The World, premieres May 16 on STARZ, so if you don’t know her yet, that might change. The actress has been speaking her career into existence since she was a 4-year-old, and she’s primed to become a household name.

Run The World is a comedy about four smart, funny, and unapologetically ambitious Black women—Whitney (Amber Stevens West), Ella (Andrea Bordeaux), Sondi (Corbin Reid), and Renee (Webb)—who are thriving in Harlem, New York. If Sex and The City comparisons seem natural, you’re not wrong (Patricia Field is a lead stylist on Run the World), but Webb says there’s a key difference.

“Seeing independent women in Sex and the City made me aspire to go to New York and go shopping and spend my money and have aspirations for a Mr. Big,” Webb says. “They were always running towards a relationship and—at times—letting the relationship define them. And that’s where Run the World is different. It’s about four best friends, and they’re running it. The men are with us (or they’re not), but they’re still running it.”

This tendency to take control and “run it” extends beyond Webb’s latest role. Two years ago, Webb made the immensely personal decision to freeze her eggs. The procedure, known as mature oocyte cryopreservation, has helped many people potentially expand their timeline for having kids. But just as fertility depends on various factors, egg freezing discussions require nuance, too.

To freeze your eggs, doctors stimulate your ovaries so that you produce more eggs than usual, then monitor the eggs as they mature, the Mayo Clinic explains. Then, your doctor will retrieve the eggs and freeze them for potential use later on. (FYI: If you’re fertilizing the eggs with a partner or sperm donor first, that would be considered embryo freezing.) It sounds pretty straightforward, but it’s important to remember that frozen eggs aren’t a sure thing.

“For an individual, the cost/benefit analysis is quite personal,” Alan S. Penzias, M.D., chairman of the Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and an associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School, previously told SELF. “But nobody should walk away from a conversation thinking that freezing oocytes represents a guarantee of future childbirth.”

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) cautions against freezing eggs solely to extend fertility without thoroughly understanding the costs, risks, and potential alternatives. But, even with inherent challenges involved, freezing eggs can provide people with comfort and a sense of control. Below, Webb—who is aware of the limitations but is optimistic about her future—chatted with SELF about her egg freezing journey and how it helped her relax a little more. (Hint: there’s a pandemic love story involved.)

SELF: The idea that your show isn’t centered on finding a relationship is a fitting segue into your egg-freezing experience. Can you take me back to the moment when you decided to do it?

Webb: I had just gotten out of a three-year relationship. You get to an age where you’re dating, you’re having fun, and you look up, and all of your friends are married and have children. And I was just so focused on my career. I wasn’t thinking about it. And I just turned 33, and I was working on Marlon Wayans’ movie, Sextuplets, and my character was having a—what’s the word for an old pregnancy?

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