What is Fertility Preservation?
Fertility preservation involves freezing of sperm, oocytes (eggs), or embryos with the intent to attempt pregnancy in the future.
Some reasons to consider Fertility Preservation
- Prior to a medical procedure or treatment that can decrease future fertility
- Social reasons (ie advancing female age)
- Sperm freezing prior to a planned fertility treatment if a sperm sample may not be available on the day that it is needed. This may be for convenience (ie male partner will be unavailable) or due to very low sperm counts
Sperm freezing for fertility preservation is done when a diagnosis or medical treatment may leave a person unable to provide a viable sperm sample in the future. The frozen sperm sample can be used to create an embryo and try for pregnancy.
Egg freezing for fertility preservation involves stimulating the ovaries with hormonal injections to mature multiple eggs at one time then collecting the eggs during an egg retrieval procedure. The eggs are then frozen and can be thawed when ready to be used for IVF, in the future. Eggs can be frozen indefinitely. Fertility preservation can be done for social or medical reasons.
Embryo freezing for fertility preservation involves stimulating the ovaries with hormonal injections to mature multiple eggs at one time, collecting the eggs during an egg retrieval procedure, fertilizing the eggs with sperm, in our laboratory, maturing the embryos and freezing them, for future use.
Fertilization can be done by either putting sperm and egg together in a laboratory dish OR by performing intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (“ICSI”). ICSI involves selecting a single sperm and injecting it directly into the egg to try to improve fertilization.
After fertilization, we monitor the embryo(s) development and freeze the viable embryos that have reached the blastocyst stage. Embryos can be frozen indefinitely. When ready to be used, an embryo is thawed and placed into the uterus.