Fertility preservation is the process of saving or protecting eggs, sperm, or reproductive tissue so that a person can use them to have biological children in the future.
Many factors can limit a male or female’s future ability to conceive. Possible obstacles to overcome with fertility preservation can be certain diseases, disorders, and life events.
Viera Fertility Center can cryopreserve and store sperm for individuals and couples seeking fertility preservation. Sperm cryopreservation is recommended for:
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.
(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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
With minor surgery, the ovaries, and sometimes the fallopian tubes, are surgically placed to an area of the abdomen that will not receive radiation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Contact us today to learn more about how cryopreservation can help you on your journey to parenthood.