Fertility Preservation Elective
Fertility preservation is a popular and important way for men, women, and families to safely and effectively preserve their eggs, sperm, and embryos for future use. Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have. As women age fertility gradually declines. By age 35, a woman’s egg reserves have declined in quantity and quality, reducing fertility. And, the risk of a child with genetic abnormalities increases with age for both women and men.
Men are fertile all of their lives but the quality of sperm declines, as they age. Men also have a biological clock! Male fertility declines after age 40. As men age the concentration, volume, and motility of sperm ages. After age 40 hormone levels decrease, and the chance of conception declines thereafter. However, the decline may not become a problem for men before the age of 60.
In 2016, family planning means the opportunity to choose when to have the family you have always wanted. In the past donor eggs and donor sperm or frozen embryos were considered the only options for future pregnancy. Today, Ohio Reproductive Medicine uses new technologies that allow flash freezing of sperm, eggs, and embryos to provide the best options for fertility after cancer treatments or elective freezing for any reason. Eggs and embryos can now be successfully frozen and thawed using rapid freezing called Vitrification. The reason is that Vitrification causes a negligible risk of damage to sperm and eggs. Whereas, older freezing techniques created a greater risk of damage to sperm, eggs, and embryos.
Eggs frozen with this technique can survive freezing and thawing so that the successful pregnancy rate is identical to fresh eggs. Studies also show frozen sperm is as good as fresh sperm in leading to a successful pregnancy through IVF. Egg and sperm freezing provides the best option for future reproduction. View our success rates here. Ohio Reproductive Medicine is central Ohio’s first, largest, and only IVF program of assisted reproductive technologies offering our patients optimal infertility treatments and outcomes.
Elective Fertility Preservation
Fertility preservation is becoming a more popular option for women and couples who have decided that they would like to have children but are not ready yet. At Ohio Reproductive Medicine Center, we have had countless successful pregnancies from eggs that have been frozen for years, using fertility preservation methods.
Egg freezing expands reproductive options, preserves young, healthy eggs, and extends childbearing years. Three-quarters of women who freeze their eggs do so because they haven’t found the right partner. The numbers of young women who delay starting a family, in the desire to finish their education or focus on their careers before having children, are increasing.
Freezing eggs removes the pressure of finding the right partner before a certain age. They want a family but only when the time is right for them. They can optimize their chance for conception in the future while they pursue their personal and professional goals.
However, freezing eggs is not a guarantee of a baby, but is fertility insurance. If a woman has her eggs frozen at 25 and doesn’t use them until she is 40, she has the same chance of a successful pregnancy as if she were still 25! This is why it is so beneficial to preserve eggs, at a young age.
Still, there are risks when the decision to use frozen eggs is made. Until the eggs are used, it is not possible to know the outcome. Frozen eggs must survive thawing, fertilization, and implantation to create a baby.
A simple blood test, called the Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) test, is able to assess ovarian function and reserve. It can help to identify women who may be at risk of losing their fertility. It is also used to assess a woman’s likely response to ovarian stimulation as part of an IVF cycle. This test is also predictive of the remaining reproductive lifespan and age at menopause. Again, age is an independent predictor of the reproductive lifespan.
The best time to freeze eggs is in a woman’s early 30s. However, women in their 20s who are certain they want to delay pregnancy can preserve younger eggs which statistically have a higher success rate.
The fertility preservation process starts with a consultation with one of our Ohio Reproductive Medicine fertility experts. During the consultation, blood tests may be conducted along with a pelvic ultrasound to determine the amount of eggs that are in the ovarian reserve.
If a patient decides that fertility preservation is a good fit, the next step is ovarian stimulation. During this process, injectable hormones are used to regulate a woman’s cycle and prepare the eggs for removal. This process safely stimulates the ovaries to ready more eggs into the mature state than would be in a normal cycle.
Once ready, the eggs are harvested and frozen upon removal using vitrification. This process is an ultra-rapid freezing procedure that ensures as many eggs as possible are frozen effectively. We are also able to freeze embryos, which consists of the eggs being fertilized after they are removed.
Learn More about Ohio Reproductive Medicine
If you would like to find out more information about Ohio Reproductive Medicine, please do not hesitate to contact our fertility expert team. We will answer all of your questions about fertility preservation and help you to decide if this is the right treatment for you.
Fertility preservation offers countless patients the peace of mind of being able to have a family at the right time. To learn more about fertility preservation and your options, please contact our Ohio Reproductive Medicine team today.