Gamete and embryo freezing (cryopreservation)
Sperm, oocytes (eggs) and surplus embryos can be frozen and stored for use in future treatment cycles. Talk to us today about ways we can help to preserve your future fertility.
Examples of storage and preservation
- Oncofertility for cancer patients, both female and male (see below)
- Sperm freezing and storage can performed as a back up to using fresh sperm. This may be used for example when a partners work commitments prevent them from being available to provide a fresh sample during an ART cycle.
- Egg (oocyte) preservation to secure your future fertility. Statistics show that women are choosing to start a family later and later in life. As the number and more importantly the quality of eggs declines with age, especially from 37-38 years old, many women choose to undergo a stimulation cycle to collect and then freeze eggs. This gives some women the peace of mind that they do not have to rush to start a family and can do it at a time that suits them.
- Embryo storage – After a stimulated ART cycle patients may have surplus embryos. These can be cryopreserved and stored for use in a future cycle.
Fertility Preservation for Cancer Patients
Oncofertility is a term used to define the medical field that links the specialities of Oncology and Reproductive Health. At Coastal IVF we have consulted with local specialists to explore and expand the options for the reproductive future of patients going through cancer treatment.
Certain cancers and their treatments (e.g. chemotherapy) have the potential to severely impair the function of your reproductive organs and cause infertility. If you have recently been diagnosed with cancer, there are options available here on the Sunshine Coast to help protect and preserve your fertility following treatment. These procedures have been designed to ensure they will not compromise your oncology treatment or outcomes.
We have listed some common questions below:
1) Will fertility preservation delay my cancer treatment?
There have been a few overseas studies about this. These studies demonstrate that fertility preservation does not cause a significant time delay, and more importantly the time involved has no recognised impact upon mortality or recurrence rate for cancer patients. The average time delay (of fertility preservation) reported prior to commencing oncology treatment is approximately 14 days.
2) Will fertility preservation affect my prognosis?
Although the numbers are not high, studies have indicated that the present methods of fertility preservation do not significantly affect recurrence rates or morbidity and mortality.
3) What are the chances of future fertility with/without fertility preservation?
Different oncology treatments may have a wide range of effects on your fertility. Common therapies such as chemotherapy, may cause ovarian failure and therefore infertility in around 40% of female cancer survivors. While fertility preservation is not a guarantee of a favourable outcome in the future, modern IVF pregnancy rates are high from a single IVF cycle and therefore significantly improve your chances of having a family in the future.
4) Are there methods which can be implemented to reduce the impact upon my cancer treatment?
There are a number of modifications of standard IVF procedures that allow for immediate or very early start of an IVF cycle. This significantly shortens the time interval for fertility preservation. Secondly, there are a number of drugs or modifications that may protect you from any theoretical adverse risks of fertility preservation (eg. high oestradiol levels). The specifics of treatment will be individualised and discussed with you.
What to do next?
Contact our Practice Manager on (07) 5443 4301 or Make An Appointment