In 1970, the average age at which women bore their first child was 21. In 2016, that number raised to 26. Women are increasingly deciding to delay family-building as they prioritize their careers or search for partners. For this reason, along with others, such as cancer treatment, fertility preservation is an important issue. By electing to have fertility preservation treatment, individuals or couples can remove some of the stressed involved in planning for their future families. Fertility preservation has also been clinically shown to improve pregnancy success.
At HART, we offer several options to preserve fertility. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our providers and begin taking steps to improve futuer fertility success.
Women, whether single or in committed relationships, can choose to have their eggs frozen for future use. This process is referred to as Oocyte Cryopreservation or "Egg Banking". When the time is right to begin a family, in-vitro fertilization can be performed to create embryos for transfer. For patients who are single, this option offers the ability to select their partner at a later time without the pressure of a ticking biological clock on their minds.
Cryopreservation of Sperm
Men can also undergo sperm cryopreservation for future sperm use. If a patient has a low sperm count and is already being treated through IVF, a physician may suggest sperm cryopreservation as a "back up". Individuals undergoing cancer or cytotoxic treatments may also consider this option.
Patients can choose to freeze embryos using sperm from a known partner or a donor sperm specimen. This type of treatment also alleviates the pressure of time or allows for cancer treatment to conclude prior to child bearing. An additional benefit of embryo cryopreservation is that it offers the knowledge of how many potential good quality embryos are available.
For individuals too young to undergo the aforementioned assisted reproductive options or those who for specific reasons are unable to complete ovarian stimulation techniques, the option of freezing ovarian tissue is available, although experimental at this time only offered by select institutions.
Fertility Preservation Following Cancer Diagnosis
Patients who have recently or previously been diagnosied with cancer are focused on planning their treatment. During this challenging season of life, we are a resource to and can offer peace of mind by preserving fertility now, so that life-saving medical procedures can be the focus going forward.