Fertility Preservation at CARE Fertility - Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas
Our goal at the Center for Assisted Reproduction (CARE Fertility) is to provide comprehensive medical care for the treatment of infertile couples. Treating infertility is an important focus. However, taking steps to preserve fertility for patients is just as imperative to the physicians at CARE Fertility. Whether the reason for preserving fertility is medical or personal reasons, CARE is here to help.
In today's society, parenthood starting in their late 30s or 40s has become common. Whether the reasons is career oriented, medical, or just haven't met The One, postponing the journey of parenthood until later years is now a possibility. Many want the option to still be available when one is ready, and with fertility preservation, this journey still can happen.
With advanced cancer therapies available, many patients are successfully treated, and live a normal life span. However, the fact still remains that some cancer therapies may greatly decrease or eliminate a patient's chance of having children after surviving cancer. The Center for Assisted Reproduction has several options available to provide the opportunity of parenthood for patients after they undergo chemotherapy, radiation, and/or other treatments that could permanently devastate their ability to reproduce. Through cryogenic freezing and storage, surgery, or even by use of our donor programs, patients have an opportunity to be parents even though cancer therapy might have damaged their reproductive systems.
Semen Cryopreservation and Storage
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.
For women who want to postpone parenthood, or about to undergo chemotherapy or radiation to the pelvis, they may undergo ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval (if time permits). Their eggs will then be fertilized in a lab by mixing them with the partner's sperm (in vitro fertilization). The resulting embryos are then frozen and stored. The embryos may be thawed and transferred to the woman's uterus.
Just like embryo cryopreservation, a woman may undergo ovarian simulation and egg retrieval. But unlike embryo cryopreservation, 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 placed into the woman's uterus. Pregnancy rates using cryopreserved oocytes are similar to pregnancy rates from IVF using fresh oocytes due to recent advances in freezing technology.
There are surgeries available to assist cancer patients and cancer survivors with reproduction. Many cancer therapies for men might significantly reduce their sperm count. Some surgeries to treat cancer might even affect a man's ability to release sperm. In these situations, CARE Fertility offers an outpatient procedure called TESE (testicular sperm extraction) aspiration to obtain a specimen for use with in vitro fertilization. For women who are about to undergo radiation to the pelvis, but who do not have the luxury of time to undergo ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval, we offer the option of ovarian transposition. This is an outpatient surgical procedure in which the ovaries are surgically moved away from the radiation field to minimize exposure and damage.
Another option for cancer survivors who are completely unable to produce sperm or eggs is the use of our donor programs (third party reproduction). We have donor sperm, donor eggs, and donor embryos available. Donor sperm may be used for intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization. Donor eggs are used with in vitro fertilization. Donor embryos (developed through in vitro fertilization) may be transferred to the uterus in an outpatient procedure. Some female cancer survivors are no longer capable of carrying a pregnancy (due to hysterectomy). Other female survivors may face certain health risks by carrying a pregnancy. For these women, we do offer services utilizing a gestational carrier. Through in vitro fertilization, the patient's eggs and her partner's sperm are combined in the laboratory to form embryos. Resulting embryos may be transferred to the uterus of a gestational carrier. For all patients and donors who participate in third party reproduction, CARE Fertility requires psychological evaluations with a licensed psychologist who specializes in third party reproduction.
Thanks to advancements in reproductive medicines, there are now many opportunities available for patients who desire the dream of parenthood. Patients are required to have an infectious disease screening, physician order, and an appointment prior to utilizing our cryogenic storage facility.
For more information, contact CARE Fertility.