A woman’s fertility is at its highest in her twenties. However, many women are not ready to start their family then and may consider the option of fertility preservation treatments.
Fertility preservation is the process of saving your eggs, sperm, embryos, or reproductive tissue with the aim of having biological children in the future. On this page, we will look at why fertility preservation is important, who it’s for, and what our treatments involve.
There are many reasons why people may decide to preserve their fertility and they often include the following:
If you want a family but you don’t currently feel ready, fertility preservation may be an option for you.
For many people, undergoing cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy means their fertility may be affected. Fertility preservation in cancer patients helps reduce the risk of infertility. Preservation treatments enable you to freeze and store your eggs, sperm, embryos, or reproductive tissue until you are ready to have a family.
If you are about to receive cancer treatment but you want to preserve your fertility, it is essential to talk to your doctor before your treatment starts. Your fertility can be damaged after just one cancer treatment session. So, if you want to have a biological family after your treatment, it is definitely worth considering fertility preservation.
If you are in the British Armed Forces, you may want to preserve your fertility before your deployment. This could help protect your chance of having a family in cases of injury.
If you are a transgender person, you may want to consider preserving your fertility. Whether you are a male transitioning to a female or a female transitioning to a male, the transition process could lead to part or complete loss of fertility.
Fertility preservation treatments are beneficial for a variety of people. Some people have certain diseases, health disorders, or life events that may have affected their fertility. These many include the following people:
There are many different ways we preserve your fertility. So, we thought we’d explain the various preservation methods we use.
Egg freezing fertility preservation is for women. This is a female fertility preservation that we have seen a lot of success with. This treatment offers women the opportunity of freezing eggs until such time as they feel financially and emotionally ready to have a family.
Preserving eggs for fertility treatment involves two weeks of daily fertility drug injections, followed by a procedure to remove the eggs. The procedure for freezing your eggs is just the same as the start of the IVF process.
The human egg is a very large cell and not long ago we didn’t have technology advanced enough to freeze and thaw eggs safely. Ice crystals used to form on the eggs, causing damage to the cells. However, with vitrification, the technology we use has significantly improved.
Now, we can vitrify eggs so they can be stored and used at a later date, with encouraging results. Fertility centres around the world are seeing pregnancy rates of 25% when using frozen eggs. The number of babies being born following egg freezing and thawing is continually increasing.
A woman’s fertility declines as she ages, therefore fertility preservation treatments are most effective when a woman is young (under 35 years of age). However, if you are in your mid-30s or older and you don’t want to have a family just yet, fertility preservation is still an option for you.
Sperm freezing is a type of male fertility preservation. If a man wants to preserve his fertility, sperm freezing is the most effective method.
For patients undergoing cancer treatment, sperm can be stored from male patients as long as they have gone through puberty. Most boys will have some sperm in the semen from the age of about 13 years.
So, whatever your reasons for preserving your fertility, sperm freezing makes it possible.
Couples with good quality surplus embryos often consider freezing them to use sometime in the future. The advantage of freezing embryos is that the treatment process is much simpler for a frozen cycle, compared to a full IVF cycle.
Couples can also choose to donate their embryos when they have completed their family.
Making the decision to preserve your fertility is serious and sometimes complicated. Which is why, at Wessex Fertility, we support you every step of the way. Receive all the information and support you need as you prepare to preserve your fertility with us.