At Idaho Fertility Center, we understand that there are a variety of reasons an individual may desire or need to delay starting their family. Our options in fertility preservation in Idaho Falls, Idaho, allow those individuals to freeze eggs, sperm, or embryos for the purpose of having biological children in the future. Certain diseases and disorders may result in lengthy treatments that require postponing conception. For example, cancer treatments may damage reproductive organs and/or gametes. There may also be life circumstances that make it more ideal to postpone family building. In 2013, Utah Fertility Center was the first fertility center in Utah to help a patient achieve pregnancy using a frozen egg. Since then, it has helped many families reach their reproductive goals through fertility preservation.
A woman’s biological clock plays a particularly pivotal role in fertility. As a female ages, her eggs become less likely to be fertilized and grow into healthy embryos. A woman may decide to freeze her eggs due to family history of premature ovarian failure, severe endometriosis, or recurrent ovarian cysts. Cancer treatment may also compromise a woman’s fertility. Sometimes the timing of meeting the right partner just is not right. The newer method of egg freezing called vitrification, or “flash freezing”, offers women a very realistic option of preserving eggs for future use. No matter what the reason, fertility preservation relieves some of the pressure of the biologic clock and helps keep future family building possibilities open.
The specialized cryopreservation and cryogenic storage of sperm for future use in reproduction is known as sperm banking. Idaho Fertility Center banks sperm for individuals who intend to use the sperm for their own reproductive purposes. Men diagnosed with cancer whose treatment may compromise fertility may bank sperm prior to treatments. Other circumstances for which a man might want to bank sperm include prior to having a vasectomy and working in occupations at “high risk” for testicular injury. Oftentimes, couples undergoing in vitro fertilization will freeze sperm for backup during their cycle.
Also known as embryo freezing, this method has traditionally been the gold standard for fertility preservation. Embryos are developed in a laboratory through the process of in vitro fertilization. Eggs are retrieved and fertilized with sperm from either a partner or donor. Once fertilized, embryos are grown in culture for five days. Once they reach a stage in development known as the “blastocyst stage,” they are frozen for future use. Thanks to the newer freezing methods, 95% of these embryos will survive the thawing process. When using these frozen embryos even many years later, pregnancy rates are now as high as when using fresh embryos.
If you would like to know more about fertility preservation, we invite you to contact our office today at (208) 529-2019 and talk with a member of our team about setting up an appointment with one of our Reproductive Endocrinologists.