For women, there are currently three options of fertility preservation:
- Egg Freezing
The advantage of egg freezing is that patients who do not have a partner or are uncertain of their future reproductive plans may store their eggs without the concern of creating embryos that may not be used. Due to the development of rapid freezing (vitrification), pregnancy rates from frozen eggs have significantly increased and are now equivalent to the rates of obtained with fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. The length of time for which the eggs are frozen does not affect the pregnancy rates. Egg freezing is best performed by mid to late 30s or earlier, but is still an option for patients above this age.
- Embryo Freezing
The advantage of embryo freezing is that pregnancy rates from embryo freezing can be even higher than those from egg freezing. Embryo freezing is most applicable when a female patient has a willing partner or had identified an acceptable sperm donor.
Ovarian tissue preservation
The advantage of ovarian tissue preservation is that the tissue can be implanted back into the patient at the right time, and allow patients the opportunity to conceive on their own or with the aid of fertility treatments. Ovarian tissue transplants also allow patients to resume their menstrual cycles and restore the normal hormone levels associated with the menstrual cycle. The life of the transplant is often 2-3 years. If patients are unable to conceive on their own with the transplant, they may undergo fertility treatments including IVF to conceive. In the future, women may be able to have their eggs removed from the preserved tissue, matured outside of the body (in vitro maturation), fertilized, and transferred back to the uterus. Currently, Advanced Fertility Center of Texas is collaborating with one of the top experts in fertility preservation and ovarian tissue preservation, Dr Sherman Silber of St Louis, MO.
To learn more about female treatment options or to schedule an appointment, please call (713)467-4488.