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What is Fertility Preservation?

  • 4.8 (6 Votes)
  • 117619 views

Fertility Preservation allows you to preserve your fertility by freezing your eggs, sperm, reproductive tissues or embryos with procedures like Embryo cryopreservation, Oocyte cryopreservation, Ovarian tissue cryopreservation (OTC), Ovarian Transposition. It is a proven way to retain your fertility on a longer run and utilize it when you are ready

Parenthood is a blessing that each and every couple wants to cherish in their life. However, due to some unfortunate situations and medical issues, this dream looks like a distant reality. The advancement of science & technology and state-of-the-art medical innovations has bestowed us the increasingly important innovation - Fertility Preservation which affirms to be a boon for people who are suffering from certain medical conditions like endometriosis, ovarian failure, cancer etc. Such unfortunate medical conditions hamper an individual’s present fertility resulting them to seek the help of medical science to preserve their fertility. Fertility preservation improves the quality of life of a couple who are planning a late pregnancy or under going any cancer treatment or any other exceptional medical condition. They can preserve their fertility and get the happiness of giving birth to their biological offspring at any stage of life they choose. Fertility Preservation is the latest innovation in medical science through which an individual or couple can preserve their respective future fertility. It bestows them the flexibility to start a family at their chosen time.

Fertility Preservation largely helps the cancer patients or individuals suffering from serious illness. On cofertility is a term exclusively invented for fertility preservation related to cancer cases. Improvement in cancer management and a high-pointed graph of survival rates have resulted in an immediate requirement for on cofertilityUnder the methods of fertility preservation eggs, semen and embryos are cryopreserved through a method known as vitrification.

Who should go for Fertility Preservation?

Preserving your fertility essentially means preserving your eggs, sperm, embryos and reproductive tissues for future fertility reasons. You may be suggested for fertility preservation if you have these issues discussed below-

  • Cancer patients- If you are diagnosed with cancer and are having chemotherapy or radiotherapy lately or in near future, you might be advised to fertilize your eggs, sperm, embryos or reproductive tissues to help you conceive in the future. This is due to the reason that the radiations and the drugs used for cancer treatment may directly affect your fertility or cause sterility.Doctors will surely suggest you for fertility preservation if you are an individual or couple seeking to conceive in future.
  • Individuals who are family planning & not ready to conceive yet- Motherhood does not call everyone at the same time. You may wish to preserve your fertility under certain conditions like you are not able to find the right life partner yet, you are not planning to get married soon, you are economically or emotionally unstable at the moment etc. Preserving your eggs or sperm may come handy in such situations.
  • Natural pregnancy not possible- It is essential to preserve your fertility if you are going for a sex change operation where you undergo through significant hormonal change therapies which affect your fertility gruesomely.
  • Women with Ovarian failure- Ovarian failure has been a predominant issue now-a-days as ignorance to fertility health is common due to the hectic lifestyle and dietary change. Numerous women are diagnosed with low egg reserve and AMH level. Such women are advised to go for fertility preservation to mitigate the risk of ovarian failure. Also, women with Endometriosis are at a higher risk of premature ovarian failure.
  • Individuals who had an unsuccessful IVF cycle- If you have experienced an IVF failure, it is highly suggested that you should go for embryo or egg preservation so that you are not required to undergo the process of egg retrieval again in the next cycle.

fertility preservation

Different methods for Fertility Preservation

Depending upon your medical condition and your fertility need, your doctor might suggest you to go for one or more of the below discussed options for fertility preservation.

1- Options for Male Fertility Preservation

(a) Sperm Cryopreservation

Sperm Cryopreservation is one of the most effective methods to preserve male fertility. Under this procedure, semen samples are collected through masturbation or any other sperm extracting procedure such as TESA, TESE, MESA or PESA and stored for years through vitrification method. Depending on the sperm count and sperm morphology, sperms are frozen for methods such as IVF, IUI or ICSI.

sperm cryopreservation

(b) Gonadal Shielding

Gonadal shielding is a fertility preservation technique in which carefully designed shields are placed to save your pelvic area if it is exposed to cancer treatment and the respective radiations.

2- Options for Female Fertility Preservation

(a) Embryo Cryopreservation

Under Embryo Cryopreservation procedure, eggs/oocyte are retrieved from your ovaries and they are fertilized with sperm through In-Vitro Fertilization technology and then stored or preserved. The process requires a sperm sample for fertilization which demands a woman to have a partner in order to get the sperm. This Cryopreservation technology provides an excellent success rate depending on the number and quality of embryos stored. When required, these frozen embryos are thawed before transferring into the uterus of the female.

(b) Oocyte Cryopreservation

It is very similar to Embryo Cryopreservation. Under this procedure, hormones are injected to retrieve the eggs and stored for future fertility perspectives. It largely helps women who do not have a partner for the sperm sample. It exclusively maintains the reproductive autonomy affirming it to be the most reliable preservation method.

(c) Gonadal Shielding

It is a fertility preservation method in which exclusively structured shields are placed to save the pelvic region if it has been exposed to radiation therapy during cancer treatment. If no such shield is provided then it can lead to the damage of ovarian eggs.

(d)Ovarian Transposition

This procedure is recommended if you're having radiation applied to a pelvic tumor. The respected female undergoing the process will get one or both ovaries surgically re-positioned in order to protect them from the planned radiation field. In some cases due to scattered radiation, ovaries aren't protected and get majorly harmed. Therefore, one might need to have the ovaries re-positioned again or otherwise, use IVF to conceive.

(e) Radical Trachelectomy

It includes the surgical removal of the cervix in cases where individuals are at an early-stage of cervical cancer in order to preserve the uterus from getting infected.

Other developing methods of fertility preservation for women under research

1- Ovarian tissue cryopreservation

The procedure allows the ovarian tissue to be surgically removed, frozen and re-implanted at the required stage and time. It is performed in the cases when the patient urgently requires to undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

2- Ovarian suppression prior cancer therapy

Hormonal therapy is conducted on the respective individual to suppress ovarian function and protect eggs during cancer treatment.

Hence, fertility preservation is a great way to preserve fertility to start your family at a later stage. To know more about eggs and sperm freezing, contact us on +917899912611 to know the best centres and doctors who will assist you to preserve your fertility.

Dr. Rachna Verma

About The Author

Infertility Specialist, Endocrinologist Dr. Rachna Verma
Delhi

Dr. Rachna Verma is a gynecologist and obstetrician presently specializing in Infertility management, IUI, IVF, Hormonal Disturbance Management. Dr. Rachna has completed MBBS from SP Medical College, Bikaner in 1992 and DGO from RNT Medical College in 1996. Then, Dr. Rachna pursued DNB in Obstetrics and Gynecology and MNAMS in Obstetrics and Gynecology from Sir Gangaram Hospital in 1999 and 2000 respectively. She is also a member of National Academy of Medical Sciences. Presently, Dr. Rachna is practicing at Gynae and Imaging Point and Fortis Flt Lt Rajan Dhall Hospital, Delhi. For more information, visit elawoman.com

SOURCES AND REFERENCES:

  1. Health benefits and side effects of licorice cancer, Elawoman - 2018
  2. Myths and facts about fertility that everyone should know fertility, Elawoman - 2017
  3. Role of semen analysis in male infertility evaluation semen, Elawoman - 2018
  4. What is embryo reduction technique? embryos, Elawoman - 2018
  5. How long does it take for the sperm to reach egg? fertilize your eggs, Elawoman - 2018
  6. How often should you have sex when trying to conceive sex, Elawoman - 2017
  7. What is anti - mullerian hormone or amh? AMH level, Elawoman - 2017
  8. Repeated ivf failures, common causes and tips to prevent it IVF failure, Elawoman - 2017
  9. How to boost male fertility and sperm count naturally male fertility, Elawoman - 2017
  10. Benefits and side effects of masturbation for men and women masturbation, Elawoman - 2017

6 Comments

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Kapil Verma

I took sperm cryopreservation a year ago as I have been hearing a lot about male infertility. These techniques are safe and one can opt this whenever they want.

Oct. 12, 2018, 12:54 p.m. 5.0

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Ashish Devgan

Is it safe to have a child by fertility preservation? Do child come out to be healthier or any complications are observed?

Oct. 10, 2018, 9:50 a.m. 5.0

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Urwashi Gaur

I have low egg reserve so, should I go for either embryo or oocyte cryopreservation? They both are alike, please suggest one!

Sept. 10, 2018, 2:11 p.m. 4.5

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James Nallapa

Fertility preservation technique seems to be very precise. Are these facilities are available in India? And if it is then please suggest some.

Sept. 8, 2018, 9:41 p.m. 4.5

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Gaurav Mathur

I never knew about this service. These new technologies can finish the problem of unwanted pregnancy.

Aug. 30, 2018, 8:39 a.m. 5.0

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Subhan Bisht

Aug. 25, 2018, 4:57 p.m. 4.5

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