Olivia Munn froze her eggs before undergoing a hysterectomy during breast cancer battle

Back in March, Olivia Munn opened up about her breast cancer diagnosis, revealing that she’d undergone four surgeries in an effort to combat the “aggressive, fast moving cancer.” In a new interview with Vogue, Munn is opening up about the steps she’s taken to protect her reproductive health, including undergoing a hysterectomy and freezing her eggs in the hopes of welcoming a second child with her partner, John Mulaney.

Last November, as Munn was undergoing “aggressive” cancer treatments to fight the disease, she’d been put into medically induced menopause, using the estrogen-suppressing drug Lupron to stop her ovaries from producing the hormone. But the medication gave her “next-level, debilitating exhaustion,” so she decided to try a different course of action.

Just last month, the actress underwent a fifth surgery amid her cancer battle. “I have now had an oophorectomy and hysterectomy,” she told the outlet. “I took out my uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.”

Though she says her recovery was painful at first, she felt back to normal within a week. She admitted the emotional change was tough, too. “I did have one real moment of panic,” she recalled. “A real breakdown. Because it’s just so strange when you’ve been with this body your entire life, had your period for so long, feel when you’re ovulating, and all of a sudden it’s gone.”

But the exhaustion from Lupron kept her from being present with her son, which is why she made the decision to undergo surgery in the first place. “It was a big decision to make, but it was the best decision for me because I needed to be present for my family,” she said. “I had friends try to cheer me up by saying, ‘Malcolm’s not going to remember this. Don’t worry.’ But I just kept thinking to myself, ‘I’m going to remember this, that I missed all these things.’ It’s his childhood, but it’s my motherhood, and I don’t want to miss any of these parts if I don’t have to.”

Munn also revealed that she’d frozen her eggs three times, at age 33, 39, and 42, most recently in response to her cancer diagnosis. “It’s interesting because my 33-year-old eggs were great,” she added. “My 39-year-old eggs? None of them worked. As you get older, one month can have great eggs, the other not so much. Clearly, the month we did at 39 was not a good month. After my diagnosis, we decided to try one more round of egg retrievals and hoped it was a good month. John and I talked about it a lot and we don’t feel like we’re done growing our family, but didn’t know if I would have to do chemotherapy or radiation.”

Her doctors placed her on a modified version of the egg retrieval process, so as not to stimulate any further cancer growth in her body. Thankfully, the process was successful, and the 43-year-old ended up with two healthy embryos. “John and I just started crying,” she said. “It was just so exciting because not only did we get it in one retrieval, but it also meant that I didn’t have to keep putting myself at risk. It was just amazing.”

It seems the couple hopes to work with a surrogate in the future, should they decide to expand their family, which includes their two-year-old son, Malcolm. “When you’re pregnant with your own baby, it’s like teamwork—you and the baby working together to make their little life come true,” Munn said. “You’re doing all this work to eat well, try to not have anxiety, just do all the right things during the pregnancy. With a surrogate, you have to try to go find a version of yourself somewhere out in the world. Somebody that you trust as much as yourself to live their life as a pregnant woman the same way that you would.”

“But a surrogate isn’t a scary prospect to me anymore because there’s nothing I can do,” she continued. “I don’t have the ability to carry a baby anymore, so if we want to build our family, this is our option. This journey has made me realize how grateful I am to have options for not only fighting cancer, but also having more children if we want, because I know a lot of people don’t have those options.”

Props to Munn for being so candid about her journey, both as a patient and as a mom. It seems she’s got a great care team behind her to help guide her through each step, and every cancer patient deserves the same level of love and support on their side as well.

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