Fertility Preservation

Egg (or sperm) freezing…Who needs it?

Freezing (cryopreservation) of reproductive cells can be done in a number of situations where patients want to preserve their fertility for the future:

Elective freezing/banking: Women who want or need to delay childbearing in order to pursue educational, career, or other personal goals. Because fertility declines with advancing age, banking your eggs now may better insure your chance for a pregnancy later. We can also freeze sperm before military deployment, or any other circumstance where long gaps in travel may make fertility treatment difficult.

Unlike the ovary, oocytes (eggs), or sperm, the human uterus does not age significantly; it can carry a healthy pregnancy well past age 50. Cryopreserved eggs don’t age because they are stored at -196°C, a temperature so low that no metabolic activity can occur. This means that egg quality is not compromised—probably for centuries, “under ice.”

Patients recently diagnosed with cancer: Egg or sperm freezing offers a chance to preserve eggs before radiation, surgery, or chemo. While these can be very effective cancer treatments, one unfortunate side-effect of these interventions is that they can harm sperm or eggs, incidentally resulting in sterility. Of course, in some cases viable eggs or sperm may be present after cancer treatment, but this is one technique many patients consider to have at least some cells available as “back up.”

IVF patients who do not want to store frozen embryos for philosophical or religious reasons. In standard IVF, sometimes patients can have excess embryos. The decision to freeze non-transferred embryos may not be easy when considering how, when, or if they will ever be used.

Copyright © 2015 CAG.All rights reserved.
E. Scott Sills, MD PhD and the Center for Advanced Genetics (CAG) is a reproductive medicine clinic located in Carlsbad, California USA, in North San Diego County, and serves the cities of Carlsbad, Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos, Encinitas, Escondido, Fallbrook, Bonsall, and Camp Pendleton. The fertility clinic specializes in in-vitro fertilization (IVF), frozen embryo transfer (FET), blastocyst transfer, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis/screening/testing of embryos (PGD, PGS) for possible genetic abnormalities and gender selection, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), intra-uterine insemination (IUI), surrogacy, donor cycles, male-factor infertility, Essure® removal, treatment for recurrent pregnancy loss, and fertility preservation (egg freezing, sperm banking). Dr. Sills is published over 100 times in peer-reviewed publications and just published his book “Fighting at the Fertility Front,” a book that covers infertility, treatments, and issues that are unique to military personnel. CAG is committed to building families, including assisting those of the LGBT community. We offer low-interest fertility treatment financing to make having a baby a reality for virtually everyone.
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