Simply put, fertility preservation is the freezing of eggs or sperm to “preserve” a patient’s fertility so they can have a family at another time in the future. Fertility preservation is also used to preserve a patient’s fertility before they undergo a medical procedure, such as chemotherapy, which could affect their future ability to have a baby.
Freezing human eggs and sperm is not a new technology. Since the 1950s, human sperm has been frozen and stored, and since the 1980s, human eggs and embryos have been deep frozen for future use. Both sperm and embryo freezing have become such common approaches for fertility preservation, that they are routine procedures performed successfully in fertility centers around the world.
Cryopreserved (frozen) sperm and eggs are effective for use in getting pregnant, even years later.
Embryo or Oocyte Cryopreservation
For many reasons, people are choosing to have children later and later in life. Fertility preservation can be used for family planning to ensure that eggs and sperm are optimally viable when the time is right to have a family.
Cryopreservation is not a new technology. Since the 1950’s, human sperm has been frozen and stored, and since the 1980’s, human embryos have been successfully cryopreserved. Both sperm and embryo freezing have become such common approaches for fertility preservation, that they are routine procedures performed successfully in fertility centers around the world.
The outcome of pregnancies resulted from frozen embryo transfer is remarkably similar to fresh embryo transfer.
A complete cryopreservation consultation can help men and women understand which reproductive options they have now and in the future This is often used to help a patient preserve their fertility by freezing their eggs, sperm, or even ovarian tissue prior to cancer treatments. For patients who have already finished cancer treatments and cannot have a child on their own, Poma Fertility helps patients connect with reproductive options such as egg and sperm donation, surrogates, or in vitro fertilization.
When is the right time to consider fertility preservation?
Cancer treatment may or may not diminish fertility potential in either the male or the female.
- Determining the probability of sterility is a central question for oncology and reproductive medicine professionals.
- Cancer treatments often adversely affect fertility depending upon:
- the type of treatment (chemotherapy versus radiation therapy)
- dose of treatment,
- length of treatment
- physical age and condition of patient.
Cancer therapy changes so quickly with different combinations and dosing that research studies simply cannot keep up with the pace of change. Nevertheless, your physicians should be able to give some idea of the likelihood of a compromise of your fertility.
RESOURCE: An excellent resource on this topic comes from: American Society of Clinical Oncology Recommendations on Fertility Preservation in People Treated for Cancer – ASCO
The reality of reproductive aging is not always appreciated by people or physicians; however, more and more women are becoming aware of this reality and they are considering strategies to preserve their fertility for the future. Consequently, they reach an age when they recognize the need to bank their eggs or embryos until they are ready to be parents.
Each month approximately 500 to a 1000 eggs develop but a single egg ovulates from the ovary.