As you age your fertility decreases. Young people are more fertile. Age affects the fertility of both men and women. The female egg and the male sperm are of a much higher quality when you are younger. Older folks suffer from lower quality eggs and sperm.
What does it mean to preserve your fertility?
Fertility preservation refers to freezing the oocyte in the case of women and freezing the sperm in the case of men. In some instances instead of freezing the ages and sperm separately, the fertilised embryo is frozen. The oocyte cryopreservation involves extracting the eggs by stimulating the ovaries with hormone injections. During ovulation, these oocytes are extracted and placed in a freezer at a specific temperature. Similarly, healthy sperm is extracted from the semen sample, and these are frozen. Or they are fertilised in the lab, and the embryo is frozen.
How long can you freeze your eggs or embryo?
The usual storage duration for female eggs, male sperm or embryos is 10 years. They are stored in a tank containing liquid nitrogen.
Why do people opt for fertility preservation?
There are numerous reasons that influence the decision for fertility preservation. Some of the more common factors for freezing oocyte and sperm are:
Advancing age: Many couples who are focused on their careers and do plan to have children at a later stage prefer to have their eggs and sperm frozen. This is to counter the rare instance of not being able to naturally conceive later due to age. This is one of the most common reasons for fertility preservation among the newer generation. Many of them would like to set their careers before planning a family but fear that they may not be able to conceive later as they get older. Fertility preservation seems like a fine solution to this predicament.
Cancer: Those who are detected with cancerous cells and have to undertake chemotherapy prefer to have their fertility preserved through freezing. Cancer treatment can seriously hamper fertility. If the cancer is in the abdominal area, it can also damage the functioning of the reproductive organs.
Menopause: Some women also face issues with premature menopause. This is a condition where the oocyte reserve gets depleted. Women are born with a specific number of oocyte, and once this is over, then menopause begins to set in. At the onset of menopause, women can have the few remaining oocytes matured with the help of hormone injections, and these can be preserved for later use.
Medical treatment: people who have to undergo medical treatment that could hamper their fertility prefer to have their fertility frozen. This is to avoid the risk of not being able to conceive later and discovering that they have become infertile as a result of the medical treatment.
Risk conditions: if either partner is at risk for illness, infertility or even death, a couple may decide upon fertility preservation — people who are working in high-risk conditions that could affect their fertility. Men working in industries with high heat conditions are susceptible to male infertility. People who participate in high-risk sports do not know if they are going to make it out alive. To have their legacy live on, they freeze their fertility.
When a couple is ready for a baby, the frozen embryo is thawed and placed inside the female partner’s uterus. The frozen oocyte and sperm are fertilised in the lab, and the embryo is placed in the female partner’s uterus. Fertility preservation is one of the many services offered by Medicover Fertility Clinic.