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Sperm freezing is the most effective way of preserving fertility. This can be done on more than one occasion if time permits. Sperm can be frozen for future use either in artificial insemination or other fertility treatments, or be donated. Donated sperm has to be stored for six months before it can be used in treatment, in order to screen the donor for infections. Sperm cells have been frozen, thawed and successfully used in treatment for more than 40 years, although not all sperm survive the freezing process. Storing your sperm may enable you to use them for treatment in the future.
You may want to consider freezing your sperm if:
- you have a condition, or are facing medical treatment for a condition, that may affect your fertility
- you are about to have a vasectomy
- you have a low sperm count or the quality of your sperm is deteriorating
- you have difficulty producing a sample on the day of fertility treatment
- you are at risk of injury or death (eg, you’re a member of the Armed Forces who is being deployed to a war zone)
- you are about to undergo a sex change operation.
Women can have their eggs frozen and stored in attempt to preserve their fertility. Fertility is scientifically proven to be age dependent and since it is the age of a woman's eggs which determines her fertility, the eggs of a 30 year old woman are much more likely to lead to successful conception than those of a 40 year old. Freezing your eggs at an early reproductive age can help to preserve your fertility and maximise your chances of a future pregnancy if you should experience fertility problems in the future. As the risks of miscarriage and certain abnormalities, such as Down's syndrome, increase with age, women may chose to freeze their eggs to help reduce this risk by storing eggs for later fertility treatment, should they require it.
Today, the chances of freezing your eggs successfully are dramatically improved because of the rapid
advances which have taken place in the science of Cryobiology and its related fields. Hundreds of babies have now been born worldwide using previously frozen, thawed mature eggs. There are many reasons, both medical and social, why you may want to freeze your eggs. It could be that for career, or other reasons, it simply isn't appropriate or possible to have babies at the time when you are most fertile. And certainly the risks of miscarriage or of certain abnormalities such as Down's Syndrome increase with age.
There are a wide number of medical reasons for taking the precaution of freezing eggs, ranging from impaired ovarian function, to pre-empting chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment for cancer. If you would like to discuss egg vitrification for preserving your fertility please EMAIL US or telephone Yorkshire Fertility on 01422 224478