Though you can choose to have elective fertility preservation, the process of freezing eggs and sperm is often used by women and men who need cancer treatment or other medical procedures that can cause infertility. Richard Schmidt, MD, FACOG, Meera Shah, MD, FACOG, and the team at NOVA IVF in Mountain View, California, have extensive experience performing fertility preservation procedures that give you hope for a future pregnancy. To schedule a consultation, call the office or use the online booking feature.
Fertility preservation refers to saving eggs or sperm so you can use them to have children in the future. Women and men often choose elective fertility preservation when they want to postpone having children and know their risk of infertility increases as they get older. Fertility preservation gives them a backup for the future.
In many cases, however, fertility preservation is a decision made before starting chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer. These powerful treatments can damage eggs and sperm and lead to infertility.
The effect of cancer treatment on your fertility depends on factors such as your age, the type of chemotherapy drug, and the dose and length of your treatment. Freezing your eggs or sperm is the best way to protect your ability to get pregnant after you recover from cancer.
You should consult with the team at NOVA IVF as soon as you know you want or need fertility preservation. Having a fertility preservation procedure as early as possible is important to ensure your eggs or sperm are saved at a young age. The team knows that moving quickly is a life-saving necessity when you have cancer, because your fertility preservation procedure must be done before you start treatment.
The team at NOVA IVF offers several types of fertility preservation procedures:
Women can choose to have their eggs retrieved and quickly frozen. Before your eggs are retrieved, you take hormone medications that trigger your ovaries to produce a large number of eggs.
After an injection that makes the eggs mature, your doctor at NOVA IVF removes the mature eggs using an aspiration needle. All the mature eggs are then frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen.
Women can have their eggs retrieved and fertilized in the lab, then the embryo can be frozen. Couples can create embryos together and may also choose to have genetic testing on the embryo before freezing to lower the risk of genetic problems like Down syndrome.
Men who need cancer treatment or who want to preserve their sperm for future in vitro fertilization procedures can have their sperm frozen. If you have a low sperm count or a blockage that prevents sperm from getting into your semen, the team at NOVA IVF can use a thin needle to aspirate sperm from the testes or epididymis.
To learn more about fertility preservation, call NOVA IVF or schedule an appointment online today.