Fertility preservation involves freezing eggs (known as oocytes), sperm, embryos or other reproductive tissue (such as ovarian tissue) for use later in life at a time that’s right. Fertility preservation methods can also be used by patients diagnosed with cancer who may have had their fertility compromised by cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.
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At IVI, we allow patients to preserve their fertility in ways that are quick, safe and simple. Our clinic offers the following fertility preservation options:
This methods involves the collection of eggs after undergoing ovarian stimulation. These eggs are cryopreserved using a method called vitrification so that they can be used at a later date. This type of cryopreservation ensures that eggs have the same likelihood of resulting in a successful pregnancy after being thawed as they did before they were frozen. Vitrification is different to traditional cryopreservation methods as it involves a rapid drop in temperature that prevents minute ice crystals forming during the freezing process.
Cryopreservation and re-implantation of ovarian tissue, such as the ovarian cortex, can help to restore ovarian function. This allows babies to be conceived naturally or by using assisted reproduction techniques, such as IVF. It can also restore normal hormone levels and so helps avoid the secondary effects of early menopause.
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Loss of ovarian function and fertility are two aspects which cause concern for most female cancer patients. Many find preserving their fertility a source of comfort, hope, and peace of mind while fighting cancer.
Improvements in treatments and screening programmes mean that more and more people are overcoming cancer. The increased survival rate has led to a greater focus on the secondary effects of treatments using chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
At IVI, we have worked hard to find ways to offer cancer survivors fertility preservation options that are safe and straightforward, so that when they feel ready, they can choose to build a family.
The effects of cancer treatment on fertility:
There are currently several different options and treatments available to cancer patients to help preserve their fertility:
It is important to remember that even by preserving your fertility, there is no way to guarantee a future pregnancy. However, it does make it possible to try.