The term fertility preservation has come to have different meanings. This term can refer to lifestyle habits that enhance fertility, medical preservation for patients facing a disease or treatment that may decrease their fertility, and social fertility preservation for people who wish to postpone pregnancy or delay childbearing for personal reasons.
- Fertility Preservation through Life Choices
- Fertility Preservation through Personal Reasons
- Fertility Preservation through Medical Reasons
Lifestyle Choices that Help Preserve and Enhance Fertility
Fertility Preservation for Social Reasons
In October 2012 the the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) issued updated guidelines indicating that egg freezing (also known as oocyte cryopreservation or OC) is a safe and effective alternative for fertility preservation.
Up to this time, egg freezing was considered an experimental treatment. This was because there was not enough data to predict if there would be harm to children born through this method and because earlier pregnancy rates using frozen eggs were quite low.
The latest data suggest that children born from frozen eggs have turned out fine. They also suggest that a new egg freezing process called vitrification results in much higher pregnancy rates—similar to those of IVF treatment.
The laboratory at PAMF FPNC has been using vitrification for many years. In fact, we've conducted some experiments of our own using vitrification and shared valuable insights with our colleagues in the fertility community. But because of the ASRM's earlier policy to treat egg freezing as experimental, we provided egg freezing mainly to patients facing imminent infertility (for example, from chemotherapy for cancer treatment).
While the ASRM now considers egg freezing safe and effective, it should be noted that the ASRM does not officially recommend egg freezing for personal reasons due to the limited data available on the actual benefits to women who choose to do this.
PAMF Fertility is pleased to make egg freezing available.
We currently provide egg freezing to all patients, but we have one important requirement: we want you to be fully informed. Egg freezing is a possible option for many women, and may give you some reassurance if you need or want to delay childbearing, but whether or not this is a good idea for you depends on many factors.
We would be glad to meet with you and review how egg freezing could be expected to work in your particular case. In the meantime, here are some excellent resources that review the process and discuss the possible pros and cons:
- Mature Oocyte Cryopreservation: A Guideline, ASRM Practice Committee
- What's a Young Woman to Do? The Pros and Cons of Social Egg Freezing, Joann Paley Galst, Ph.D., The AFA Mental Health Advisory Council
- Clinical application of oocyte vitrification: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Fertility and Sterility, Volume 96, Issue 2, Pages 277-285, August 2011.
Please contact us if you'd like to set up a meeting to discuss fertility preservation through egg freezing. We would be glad to review all the information you will need to decide if this treatment is right for you. For an appointment, please contact our New Patient Coordinator at (800) 597-2234.
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Fertility Preservation for Medical Reasons
Some medical conditions require treatment that can damage fertility or cause sterilization, such as chemotherapy for cancer. Even in time sensitive situations, there are options available for female and male patients to help preserve fertility.
If you are considering fertility preservation for medical reasons, please let us know. We can "fast track" patients who are preparing for cancer treatment. Please contact our New Patient Coordinator at (800) 597-2234 for information.
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