What is Fertility Preservation?
Fertility preservation with freezing or cryopreservation was initially utilized for patients prior to undergoing cancer treatments. Freezing of semen samples has been available for over 50 years, and freezing of embryos from an IVF cycle has been available since the 1980s; however the process of freezing female eggs (oocyte cryopreservation) was delayed until about 10 years ago. With the widespread use of vitrification as a freezing technique, egg or oocyte cryopreservation has become quite successful, with thaw survival rates of mature eggs now over 90% at the laboratories we utilize. This has markedly changed the use of fertility preservation to include young, reproductive-aged women who hope to maintain their reproduction options in the future even if they are not ready to get pregnant.
Oocyte cryopreservation will allow a woman to store her own oocytes for an extended period of time, outside of her body. If a couple is choosing to delay childbearing, embryo cryopreservation, in which a fertilized egg is grown to the blastocyst stage, can also be performed, providing even greater certainty about the chances of success in the future.
Westmed Reproductive Services currently offers oocyte cryopreservation with the internationally recognized NYU embryology team at its site at the Greenwich Hospital IVF center in Greenwich, CT.