What is Fertility Preservation?
Fertility preservation, also known as cryopreservation, is a medical process that involves preserving a person’s reproductive cells or tissues (eggs, sperm, or embryos) at a specific point in time to retain their reproductive potential for future use. Fertility preservation is commonly employed in situations where individuals or couples face circumstances that may compromise their fertility in the future, such as medical treatments, surgeries, or lifestyle choices. The preserved reproductive cells or tissues can later be thawed and used for assisted reproductive technologies (ART) to try to achieve a pregnancy.
Here are some common scenarios where fertility preservation may be considered:
Medical Treatments: Some medical treatments, such as cancer therapies (chemotherapy, radiation) and certain surgeries, can negatively impact fertility by damaging or destroying reproductive cells. Fertility preservation allows individuals to retain the option of having biological children after completing their medical treatments.
Age-Related Fertility Decline: As individuals age, their fertility typically decreases. Fertility preservation, particularly for women in their reproductive prime, allows them to freeze their eggs or embryos for later use when they are ready to start a family.
Elective Fertility Preservation: Some individuals or couples may choose to undergo fertility preservation to proactively preserve their reproductive potential for personal or lifestyle reasons. This can be common among individuals pursuing education, career goals, or those who have not yet found a suitable partner for parenthood.
The common methods of fertility preservation include:
Egg Freezing (Oocyte Cryopreservation): This process involves retrieving a woman’s eggs from her ovaries and freezing them for future use. Egg freezing is an option for women who want to preserve their fertility potential without a partner or for medical reasons.
Sperm Freezing (Sperm Cryopreservation): Sperm freezing involves collecting and freezing sperm samples from men. It is commonly used before cancer treatments, surgeries, or in situations where sperm quality or quantity may be at risk.
Embryo Freezing (Embryo Cryopreservation): Embryo freezing is typically part of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process. After fertilizing eggs with sperm in the laboratory, the resulting embryos can be cryopreserved for future use.
Ovarian Tissue Freezing: In some cases, a woman’s ovarian tissue may be removed and frozen for later transplantation or re-implantation in the hope of restoring ovarian function and fertility.
Fertility preservation provides individuals and couples with the opportunity to protect their ability to have biological children, even if they face challenges that may impact their fertility. It’s essential to discuss fertility preservation options with a fertility specialist or reproductive endocrinologist to understand the most suitable approach based on individual circumstances and goals.
Here are industry experts who can help you
Dr. Richa Singh
Dr. Praveen Panday
Dr. Amar Nath
Working experience: more than 8 years, performed more than 500 ICSI cycles Independetly
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