What Is Fertility Preservation?
Reproductive science has remarkably advanced the options for us when we might choose to delay or place a hold on becoming parents. With fertility preservation, the option to freeze embryos, eggs or sperm is available for individuals that are looking to have future access to start a family.
There are a few reasons why you might opt for fertility preservation:
- There may be a medical procedure that is of higher priority and will require a long recovery period.
- Cancer treatment may compromise germ cell numbers and quality, prevent pregnancy and the outlook for treatment may require a delay in starting a family.
- There may have been exposure to chemicals that may have been toxic or damaging to the reproductive organs while in the military or as a result of a work environment.
- Prefer a family started later in life due to career choices, employment limitations, and/or age.
- Embryos - the most common option is freezing embryos. After an IVF cycle, there may be surplus embryos available for future use. These embryos would be ‘cryopreserved’.
- Oocytes – female patients may choose to freeze their unfertilized eggs, ‘oocytes’, to be thawed and available for fertilization by either partner’s sperm or donated sperm in the future. (please refer to :quality and quantity of eggs with aging)
- Sperm – male patients, who may be facing medical procedures, deployment limitations, or other conditions that may affect the use of their semen for fertilization, may be candidates for cryopreservation.