Dr. Jamie Grifo, a New York fertility doctor with NYU Fertility, explains that the efficiency of egg freezing is similar to the efficiency of IVF; so the more eggs you produce, the better. Dr. Jamie Grifo, Program Director of the NYU Fertility Center and Director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology, NYU School of Medicine, explains that the efficiency of egg freezing is similar to the efficiency of IVF; so the more eggs you produce, the better.
In a fast-developing field of medicine called oncofertility, leading medical centers have expanded fertility preservation options for cancer patients to offer both traditional services like sperm and embryo banking along with newer techniques for the nation's estimated half-million American cancer survivors of reproductive age.
For women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), frozen donor eggs may work as well as fresh ones, a study at one fertility clinic suggests. Researchers found that of 77 women treated at a clinic in Cyprus, those who received eggs that had been donated by another woman and then frozen were just as likely to have a baby as women who received fresh donor eggs.
Recent breakthroughs in reproductive technology are good news, very good news, for women in the reproductive age group: A new version of the biologic clock, ticking in the back of the mind of practically every young woman, has finally arrived. For the first time, this new model has a “pause” button.
Previously, if a woman wanted to preserve her fertility, she would have had to find a sperm donor to create an embryo, which could then be frozen. In recent years, however, scientists have figured out how to freeze and thaw unfertilized eggs from women, allowing them to freeze their eggs now and thaw them in the future, when they are ready to have children.
Historically, women with breast cancer were thought to lose much of their sexuality, including their roles as lovers, and their ability to get pregnant and become a lactating mother. Breast cancer treatment was aimed at aggressive resection of the cancer, with surgery that traditionally included a total mastectomy (if not bilateral) and sometimes included disfiguring lymph node dissection. Postoperative chemotherapy was effective, but resulted in suppression of ovulation and pregnancy.
Freezing embryos, which are women’s eggs fertilized with sperm, has been done in fertility clinics for decades, but now science has improved upon freezing unfertilized eggs to use in the future.
Typically, couples undergoing in-vitro fertilization produce several embryos and freeze those left over to be thawed later when they wish to try having more children.
In recent years, scientists have figured out how to freeze and thaw unfertilized eggs from women, allowing them to freeze their eggs now and thaw them in the future, when they are ready to have children.
Freezing human eggs allows women more options when it comes to conception
Danielle Collins is getting breast cancer treatment that could make her sterile.
But before she started chemotherapy, the 28-year-old Charlottean arranged for a fertility specialist to retrieve healthy eggs from her ovaries, a step to preserve her chances of becoming pregnant later.
Twelve of Collins' unfertilized eggs are now frozen, suspended in a liquid nitrogen tank, at Reproductive Endocrinology Associates of Charlotte. When and if she is ready, the eggs can be thawed, fertilized and artificially inseminated.
New science in Charlotte helps women preserve their fertility
At 25-years-old, Alicia Huff was on her way to becoming a surgeon. But during a monthly self-breast exam, she noticed a lump. She had it removed and biopsied and then the doctor called to tell her she had cancer. "About 20 seconds after the phone call, I said 'I have breast cancer.' I fell to my knees, panicked, I was by myself.”
The medical student put school on hold and quickly worked with doctors to put together a plan of attack, including chemo therapy. "In a four hour appointment, no one mentioned preserving my fertility,” says Huff.