Fertility Preservation

Plan for your future family, today.

Fertility preservation is the process of saving or protecting eggs, sperm, or reproductive tissue so that you can use them to have biological children in the future. Whether you are delaying pregnancy for personal or medical reasons, our specialists are here to help you find the family-building solutions that allow you to grow your family on your terms. 

Why should you preserve your fertility?

Fertility preservation has become a hot topic in the world of reproductive care. Many individuals and couples are choosing to explore options for fertility preservation due to factors such as age, pre-existing conditions, diseases, or life events. If you are considering delaying your family building journey, our experts are here to help you decide the right timing to begin your fertility preservation process. 

Factors that may influence your decision to preserve your fertility:

  • Planned ovary surgery removal
  • Radiation/chemotherapy
  • Egg quality and decreasing altering medications/genetics
  • Scheduled active military duty
  • Advancing age
  • Professional or career-related reasons
  • Social reasons

Male Fertility Preservation Options

Sperm Cryopreservation

Viera Fertility Center can cryopreserve and store sperm for individuals and couples seeking fertility preservation. Sperm cryopreservation is recommended for:

  • Men with low sperm count who may need back-up samples during treatment
  • Men who travel frequently in preparation for timed intrauterine insemination or IVF in the female partner
  • Fertility preservation in men scheduled to undergo cancer treatment, vasectomy, or other surgeries which may negatively affect fertility.

Sperm cryopreservation through the Viera Fertility Center is an excellent way to prepare for your fertility treatment and feel the security of having a backup sperm sample if needed at egg retrieval.

Testicular Sperm Extraction (microTESE)

(microTESE) is a procedure that takes sperm directly from the testicular tissue of a man’s reproductive system. If the male cannot release or make healthy sperm naturally, this medical procedure may be recommended. The testicular tissue is then frozen and stored for future use.

Gonadal Shielding

Radiation treatment for cancer and other conditions can harm fertility, especially if it is used in the pelvic area. Some radiation treatments use modern techniques to aim the rays on a very small area or the testicles can also be protected with a lead shield.

Female Fertility Preservation Options

Embryo Cryopreservation

Embryo cryopreservation, also known as embryo freezing, is the most common and successful option for preserving a female’s fertility where eggs are removed from the ovaries. The eggs are then fertilized with sperm from your partner or a sperm donor in the laboratory in a process called in vitro fertilization (IVF). The resulting embryos are cryopreserved and stored for future use.

During an IVF cycle, treatment often results in multiple high-quality embryos. Excess embryos may be cryopreserved and stored for future use:

  • When additional children are desired
  • Following a failed IVF cycle

Oocyte (egg) Cryopreservation

This procedure is similar to embryo cryopreservation, except that unfertilized eggs are cryopreserved and stored. At a later time, when you are ready to become pregnant, the eggs are then thawed, fertilized with sperm from your partner or a sperm donor in the laboratory with IVF. The resulting embryos are then placed in your uterus or a carrier for you if needed.

Retrieving eggs when you are in your biological prime is an excellent idea for women who wish to become pregnant later in life. This process is similar to egg retrieval for IVF and these eggs can be frozen and stored until you’re ready to become a mother. When you are ready to have a child, your eggs will be thawed and fertilized with your partner’s sperm or donor sperm and transferred into your uterus or a surrogate.

Egg Cryopreservation is perfect for women who:

  • Are nearing the age of 35 and desire children later in life
  • Women about to undergo treatment for cancer

Gonadal Shielding

This process is similar to gonadal shielding for males, where steps are taken to aim the radiation at a small area or protect the ovaries by covering the pelvic area with a lead shield.

Ovarian Transposition

With minor surgery, the ovaries, and sometimes the fallopian tubes, are surgically placed to an area of the abdomen that will not receive radiation.

Medical Therapy

Medications that are thought to possibly reduce the gonadotoxic effect of chemotherapy, including Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone agonists (GnRH-a including Lupron), have been used with some success.

Understanding Cryopreservation

What is Cryopreservation?

Cryopreservation is the freezing and storage of mature eggs or embryos, With a procedure called vitrification, this allows sperm, oocytes, and embryos to be frozen minimizing ice crystal formation. Compared to previous methods of freezing, this has resulted in less damage to tissue that is more prone to injury during the freezing and thawing process.

Cryopreservation Prior To Cancer Treatment

Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can significantly impact testicular and ovarian function. These treatments particularly can speed up the natural decline in available eggs, thereby reducing or destroying the egg reserve. They can also harm reproductive organs, making pregnancy difficult or impossible. The risk of being infertile after cancer treatment depends upon the treatment type, your fertility before treatment, and your age.

Cryopreservation For Social Reasons

The natural decline in available eggs is one of the most common causes of infertility. Women are born with their lifelong supply of eggs, and as they age their egg numbers diminish. While a woman is physically able to carry a pregnancy to term well into her 50s, the quality of the eggs produced declines significantly starting around the age of 35. When a woman no longer has any viable eggs left, she enters menopause and is infertile.

We offer treatment options to help women address the ever-growing disconnect between the readiness to have children and the biological limitations of aging eggs. Many women are waiting longer to have children due to social factors such as career, education, travel and relationships. In some cases, maternal age then becomes a factor in achieving the goal of parenthood. With egg and embryo cryopreservation however, women can take a proactive role to protect their future fertility.

Cryopreservation For Adolescents and Pre-adolescent Children

Some of these options, such as sperm, oocyte, and embryo cryopreservation, are available only to males and females who have gone through puberty and have mature sperm and eggs. However, gonadal shielding and ovarian transposition can be used to preserve fertility in children who have not gone through puberty.

Emergent Treatment and Costs

Often, patients have concerns that treatment must be done immediately and that costs can be prohibitive for such care. Unlike sperm which is easy to obtain, oocytes must be harvested taking about 2 weeks to complete the process. Collaboration with you and your oncologist is critical so as not to compromise your medical condition.

Our financial counselors are available to assist patients in determining if insurance coverage is available and estimate costs for services if not covered by insurance. Special Programs including Livestrong are in place to eliminate the majority of costs. In addition, we will accommodate your scheduling needs and work closely with your physician to expedite your care.

Start Your Journey To Parenthood

Contact us today to learn more about how cryopreservation can help you on your journey to parenthood.