For a variety of personal, career or medical reasons, many people commonly postpone parenthood until they are in their late 30s or 40s. If you think you may want a family someday but just aren’t ready yet, fertility preservation can keep that option open for you.
One of the most common ways to preserve fertility is through the cryogenic freezing and storage of semen. These specimens may be thawed later and used for intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization. Men who desire sperm freezing need infectious disease screening and a physician order. It is easy to schedule an appointment for sperm freezing. We offer the procedure Monday through Friday at our Bedford office. If you don’t have a referring physician order, we are happy to set up an initial consultation with any one of our four physicians or our PA (physician assistant).
Women who want to postpone parenthood, either because “it’s not the right time yet” or they are facing a serious medical illness which may impair their fertility, may undergo ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval. Their eggs will then be fertilized in a lab by mixing them with the partner's sperm (in vitro fertilization). The resulting embryos are frozen and stored, and then may be thawed and transferred to the woman's uterus.
Unlike embryo cryopreservation, a woman may undergo ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval but the eggs are not fertilized before they are frozen. Eggs that survive the freeze-thaw process may then be fertilized later in the laboratory with the partner's or donor sperm. Embryos that develop will be frozen. When the woman is ready to conceive, a frozen embryo transfer is performed to place an embryo into her womb (uterus). Pregnancy rates using cryopreserved oocytes are similar to pregnancy rates from IVF using fresh oocytes due to recent advances in freezing technology.
Our doctors and staff work in collaboration with the patients’ oncologists and surgeons to determine the best treatment options.
Newly-diagnosed cancer patients receive a rapid consultation regarding treatment options for fertility preservation prior to undergoing surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, which can result in future infertility. Fertility preservation options, such as egg and embryo freezing, are available at special rates for these patients.
Cancer survivors who are completely unable to produce sperm or eggs may take advantage of our donor program (third party reproduction), using the donor sperm, donor eggs, and donor embryos we have available. For female cancer survivors no longer capable of carrying a pregnancy (due to hysterectomy) or facing certain health risks by carrying a pregnancy, we offer gestational carrier services.