Female fertility preservation
Fertility preservation options for women include egg freezing, embryo freezing and ovarian tissue freezing. You might consider these options of preserving your fertility if your fertility is at risk from a serious illness such as cancer or because you are not in a position to have a baby right now and would like the opportunity to start a family beyond the age at which fertility naturally declines. A fertility specialist can discuss these treatments with you and help you decide which option is right for you.
What is egg freezing?
Egg freezing is a method of storing a woman’s unfertilised eggs. To obtain eggs for freezing, a woman would usually have hormonal stimulation for 10 – 12 days. Frozen eggs may be stored for many years without significant deterioration. When the woman is ready to use her eggs, they are warmed, and then fertilised with sperm. The aim is for the fertilised egg to develop into an embryo, which can then be transferred to the woman’s uterus giving a chance of pregnancy. Find out more about egg freezing.
What is embryo freezing?
If you have a partner you may choose to freeze embryos for future fertility treatment. Embryo freezing involves undergoing an IVF cycle where your ovaries are stimulated with hormone injections, prior to the eggs being retrieved in a short surgical procedure, then fertilised with sperm in a laboratory and the resulting embryos frozen and stored. Frozen embryos can be stored for many years. Find out more about IVF treatment.
When considering embryo freezing it is important to note that where embryos are created, both partners have the right to veto future use of the embryos. The serious consequences of this, should your relationship break down, for either the woman or man undergoing fertility preservation, would be that you could lose access to your own reproductive material.
What is ovarian tissue freezing?
Ovarian issue freezing involves removing a small piece of ovarian tissue from one ovary, cutting it into tiny slices and then freezing it. Later, when you are ready to try to conceive, the ovarian tissue slices are grafted back into your pelvis. Around nine months later, the grafted ovarian tissue can start to produce reproductive hormones and follicular development. Pregnancy may be achieved either with ovarian stimulation and IVF, or perhaps even naturally. At present will still consider this treatment to be experimental. Further research and experimental work needs to be completed before this will be routine clinical treatment.
Urgent fertility preservation for oncology patients
If you need to have therapy for cancer or a serious illness, with a referral from your oncologist, it is possible for us to arrange an appointment with one of our fertility specialists within 24-48 hours. Please mention you have a referral from an oncologist when you contact us so we can fast track your appointment. In appreciating the extraordinarily stressful situation you are facing, we have also minimised the out-of-pocket costs for your fertility preservation treatment which can be discussed in more detail with our patient liaison team or one of our fertility specialists.
To find out more about female fertility preservation options please book an appointment with a fertility specialist or call 1800 111 483 or complete the form below.