Fertility Preservation: Definition & Explanation
Fertility preservation offers couples or individuals the opportunity to preserve their ability to have children in the future when they might otherwise not be able to do so due to a medical condition or treatment. Eggs, sperm and embryos can be cryopreserved through a variety of methods. Vitrification is today’s most advanced fertility preservation technique as it provides higher success rates than the traditional slow-freezing method. During vitrification or “flash freezing,” the eggs or embryos are frozen before ice crystals, which ruin a cell’s structure, can form. This is especially important when freezing eggs, because they contain more water than sperm or embryos.
When Is Fertility Preservation Recommended?
Fertility preservation is ideal for couples or individuals who are undergoing chemotherapy, radiation or major surgeries. Women with a family history of early menopause or other medical conditions such as Endometriosis or PCOS are also encouraged to pursue fertility preservation options in order to help ensure their ability to have a child when they are ready to do so.
Cancer and Major Surgeries
If you have been diagnosed with cancer or need to undergo major surgery, we urge you to take a moment and consider your future fertility options. Chemotherapy, radiation and some medications used during surgeries can compromise your fertility. During this difficult time, it may be hard to take a step back and think about having a family down the road, but it is extremely important to consider your options. Please contact us if you are faced with this difficult situation, and our experienced and caring staff will help you understand your choices.
Fertility Preservation — Getting Started
If you are interested in fertility preservation, please schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified fertility specialists. We will answer any questions you may have about the process of fertility preservation. Our financial counselors will also be available to discuss our payment plans & insurance options.
Planning for Your Future
If you would like to have a family in the future but are not ready or able to right now, fertility preservation is an optimal solution. As men and women become more mature, fertility rapidly declines. Fertility can also be affected from medical conditions and treatments. We can cryopreserve your eggs or sperm so that you can retain fertility options in the future. The earlier you preserve your fertility, the greater your chances are of having children in the future.
- After IVF
After your IVF cycle, there may be embryos that were not used. These can be cryopreserved for future, potential IVF cycles, saving you valuable time and money. If sperm or egg donation is used during your IVF treatment, you can preserve the remaining reproductive tissue for future use.
Facts about Fertility Preservation
- Eggs are more difficult to successfully cryopreserve than sperm and embryos.
- The optimal time to preserve your eggs or sperm is in your mid-twenties.