What is Fertility Preservation?
Fertility Preservation is the process of preserving eggs, sperm, or reproduction tissue to help you retain your fertility or ability to procreate in the future. People who have certain diseases or disorders that can affect their fertility can largely benefit from fertility preservation.
What are the fertility preservation options for men and women?
Fertility Preservation options for males include:
- Sperm Cryopreservation
Fertility Preservation Options for women include:
- Embryo Freezing
- Egg Freezing
What is Sperm Cryopreservation?
Sperm Cryopreservation is a process in which a male provides a sample of his semen. The sample is then frozen and stored for use in the future.
Indications of sperm freezing –
Men undergoing any urology surgery which can hamper the reproductive tract and cause infertility -Before cancer treatment as undergoing surgery /chemotherapy or radiotherapy hampers the sperm and fertility potential for men so that they can use the frozen sperms later.
What is Embryo Freezing?
Also known as Embryo Cryopreservation, this method is the most common and successful option for preserving a woman’s fertility. In this process, the doctor first removes eggs from the ovaries. After that, the eggs are fertilized with a sperm in a lab through a process called In Vitro Fertilisation. Lastly, the resulting embryos are frozen and stored for future use.
What is Egg Freezing?
Egg Freezing is also known as oocyte cryopreservation. It is a method used to save a woman’s ability to get pregnant at any time in the future. In this process, the eggs are harvested from the woman’s ovaries, frozen unfertilized, and then stored for later use.
Egg freezing is a good option for:
- women who are between 30-35 years of age and have not been able to find a suitable partner for marriage, or focusing on career and are not ready to get pregnant now but want to get pregnant in the future.
- women undergoing cancer surgery /radiotherapy /chemotherapy as these drugs are toxic to the eggs and hence can impair a women’s reproductive potential
- women undergoing surgery requiring removal of the organs like ovaries which produce eggs as after surgery a patient will not be able to procreate a child in case her eggs are not frozen.
For the process of egg freezing, sperm are not required as eggs are not fertilized before they are frozen. However, you may need fertility drugs to ensure ovulation for the production of multiple eggs for retrieval.
Fertility Preservation in Cancer Patients
Certain cancers and their treatments can harm fertility in males and females. When a person with cancer who wishes to have children post-treatment, planning is a must. Fertility preservation is a good way to save or protect eggs, sperm, and reproductive tissue for use in the future.
For women with certain types of cancer, surgery can result in the removal of organs that are needed for pregnancy. Cancer treatment can also change the hormone levels or cause damage to the female’s eggs. These changes and effects can lead to loss of fertility in some of the females during their treatment. This loss of fertility can either be temporary or permanent.
When undergoing treatment for cancer, you cannot assume that your doctor will discuss your fertility with you. As the doctors may or may not bring it, you have to make it a point to discuss with your doctor about preserving fertility before your cancer surgery or before you start your treatment.
Happy Patients Review
We want to thank Dr. Richa for your intense knowledge, care, and support, as well as the compassionate services you gave us each and every time we saw you. We will always be grateful to you for helping us complete our family. We would like to thank both the doctor and her team for their kindness and generosity. We are so fortunate for your services.
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After losing a lot of money on 3 IVF cycle failures, my husband and I had accepted the fact that we wouldn’t be able to conceive but when our friend forced us to visit Dr. Richa, we visited her for the sake of our friend but from there everything changed. Dr. Richa counseled us and told us not to lose hope. It is because of her that I am now a mother to a beautiful baby girl.
Dr. Richa came as a blessing in our life. Having heard so many stories of failed infertility treatment, we were scared to give it a try. When we met with Dr. Richa, we knew we were in the right hands. Her treatment was well planned and she guided us very well. It is because of her that we became parents after 10 years of trying.
Dr. Richa is one of the best doctors I’ve known so far. We had been trying to get pregnant for so long, but nothing happened then someone recommended me to Dr. Richa. We visited Dr. Richa, she did some tests and studied our case. She concluded that my wife was having some issues in getting pregnant. She suggested some procedures to overcome the issues. We followed what she said and believed her. Now my wife is 4 months pregnant. We are so glad that we visited Dr. Richa. She has brought happiness to our life. We are so thankful to her.
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What is infertility?
Infertility is the inability of a couple to conceive even after a year of trying to get pregnant through unprotected and well-timed sexual intercourse in which the woman is under the age of 35. If the woman is above 35, it is diagnosed after six months of trying to get pregnant. Infertility can be due to male or female factors or even both. It can also be due to unexplained reasons.
Does age affect fertility and chances of conception?
Yes, age does affect a woman’s ability to have children. More and more women now prefer to wait until their 30s to conceive. A woman’s fertility starts to reduce from her 30s and more after the age of 35. As much as one-third of couples who face fertility problems are those where the woman’s age is above 35.
How does age affect a woman’s ability to have children?
Here are a few ways of how a woman’s ability conceive reduces due to her age:
- The ability of ovaries to release eggs ready for fertilization reduces with age
- The quality of eggs released reduces with an increase in the age of women
- An increase in age can lead to more health problems which may interfere with a woman’s fertility
- The risk of miscarriages increases as a woman ages
- Children born to older women tend to have more abnormalities
How long should women try to get pregnant before visiting a doctor?
Women who are healthy and below the age of 30 need not worry about infertility unless they have been trying to get pregnant for a year or so. If such is the case, they should talk to their doctor for a fertility evaluation. They should also ask their partners to do the same.
Women in their 30s trying to get pregnant should talk to their doctor after trying for 6 months as a woman’s chances of having a baby decline rapidly after the age of 30.
Is infertility only a woman’s problem?
No, infertility can affect both men and women. About one-third of cases of infertility are due to female factors and another one third are due to male factors. The remaining cases are either due to a mixture of both male and female factors or due to unknown reasons.
Can male infertility be treated?
In most cases, male infertility can be treated. Your doctor may suggest you use assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as IVF, ICSI, TESA and Micro-TESE. Although ART cannot cure or treat the causes of infertility, it can help couples achieve pregnancy even when the male’s sperm count is low or zero.
What are the risk factors for infertility?
There are several external factors, lifestyle choices, and environmental causes that can lead to infertility. Although some risk factors can be gender-specific, some common risk factors are:
- Alcohol Consumption
- Substance Abuse
- Obesity and Underweight
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases
- Tubal Disease
- Genetic Causes
What are the ways to treat infertility?
There are many ways to treat infertility for both men and women. With advancing medical technologies, you and your partner along with your doctor can decide depending on the options available.
What causes infertility in women?
The most common reason for infertility in women is problems with ovulation. No ovulation or improper ovulation can prevent eggs from fertilizing or there may be no eggs at all. Irregular periods or no periods are a sign of no or improper ovulation. Some other causes of infertility include:
- Uterine Fibroids
- Blocked Fallopian Tubes
- Physical problems with the uterus
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
- Several Miscarriages
- Unexplained Reasons
What causes infertility in men?
Infertility in men can be due to the following:
- Low or no sperm production
- Low motility of sperms- sperms inability to move fast or reach the egg to fertilize it
- Abnormal shape/structure of sperms that prevent it from fertilizing the egg
- Erectile Dysfunction or Retrograde Ejaculation
Sometimes, men may be born with these problems, and the other times, they may develop these problems due to an illness or injury.