For many men and women, it is often not an issue of wanting to have a child, but one of finding the right time in life to start a family.
For those who are not yet ready to have a baby, or who have a medical condition that may affect their fertility potential in the future, fertility preservation helps to ensure the ability to have a family, regardless of a ticking biological clock or medical condition.
Simply put, fertility preservation is the freezing of genetic material like sperm, eggs, and embryos for future use.
Fertility preservation is often used to help cancer patients, both male and female, preserve their ability to procreate. Some therapies used during cancer treatment such as chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery can cause reproductive damage. In women, cancer treatment may lead to a decrease in viable eggs, and in men it can lead to a decrease in sperm. By choosing to preserve their genetic material, cancer patients can resume their pursuit of a family in the future when they have finished with their treatment.
The Freezing Process
The freezing process is a simple procedure that involves either the oocyte (egg) or embryo (fertilized egg) being placed in cryoprotectant and then cooled until frozen. The oocyte, embryo, or sperm may then be stored until it is time to be thawed and transferred to the woman’s uterus. Fertility preservation allows human genetic material to be safely stored frozen for years. In fact, cancer survivor Chris Biblis used his own sperm, frozen for more than two decades, to have a biological child with his wife.
When you are ready to get pregnant, your embryos or eggs can be unfrozen and prepared for transfer to your uterus and pregnancy. Any remaining embryos, eggs, or sperm can remain frozen for future use.
Colorado Reproductive Endocrinology offers advanced preservation technologies that allow our patients to lock in their fertility potential. If you are about to undergo treatment for cancer, or if you want to prepare to have a baby in the future when life’s circumstances make the time right, call Colorado Reproductive Endocrinology at (303) 321-7115 and make an appointment to talk to one of our physicians.