Fertility preservation can be achieved via IVF in conjunction with egg or embryo cryopreservation. Both embryo or egg freezing technology allows people to conceive a biologically related child – or children – at some time in the future.
Breaking down Embryo and Egg Freezing
- Egg freezing – oocyte cryopreservation – is a phenomenal medical technology available for women to preserve their fertility for tomorrow
- Embryo cryopreservation – using known or donor sperm – is a means for couples to preserve their ability to build a family in the future
By preserving their eggs through oocyte cryopreservation, women can postpone motherhood past their prime childbearing years. Pregnancy success rates using a woman’s egg that has been cryopreserved are comparable to success rates using a fresh egg.
Fertility Preservation via IVF
Egg freezing is accomplished through a fresh IVF cycle, stopping short of egg fertilization with sperm in vitro.
- Stimulation of a woman’s ovaries using fertility drugs to produce several egg follicles during one fresh IVF cycle
- Harvesting eggs from the woman’s ovaries through surgical retrieval
- Preparation and freezing of the eggs for preservation through a process known as vitrification
- The rapid-freezing technique of vitrification makes it possible to freeze eggs quickly so that harmful ice crystals do not form between cells
- Freezing tanks and storage for the eggs are on premises at Fertility Centers of Illinois
When the woman is ready to start building her family, the egg freezing process continues.
- Her eggs are thawed and then fertilized in vitro by injecting a single sperm cell into a single egg – Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
- The resulting embryos are cultured in vitro for up to 5 days (blastocyst stage)
- A predetermined number of quality embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus for implantation into the uterine lining to achieve pregnancy
Embryo freezing is accomplished through a fresh IVF cycle by surgically extracting a woman’s eggs and fertilizing them with sperm in vitro to culture. Once the embryos reach a quality stage – and PGD/PGS is conducted if recommended – the embryos will be cryopreserved.
Basically, embryo freezing is a typical IVF cycle stopping short of transferring the resulting embryos into the woman’s uterine cavity. Instead, all quality embryos are cryopreserved. When a couple is ready to start building their family, the Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) process begins.
Cryopreservation Specialist in the Chicagoland Area
It is important to work with a specialist who has over 30 years of experience as a reproductive endocrinologist. Dr. Laurence Jacobs has the clinical experienced necessary to design a customized fertility preservation treatment plan meeting your personal needs.
Fertility Centers of Illinois has 10 fertility clinic locations and 2 IVF centers located throughout Chicagoland. After you consult with the Doctor, you can choose from any of our 10 locations for ultrasound scans and blood test monitoring. Schedule your initial consultation by clicking the icon below – or – calling 888.325.7389.