We welcome the opportunity to assist those faced with cancer to preserve their fertility. The technology we offer holds the hope of enabling you to have biological children after your health is restored. We understand that time is of utmost importance, and can guide you through the process swiftly and carefully.
As a patient of Fertility Centers of Illinois, we will walk you through all of the possibilities in great detail, ensuring that you are comfortable with the choices that you make. We offer the information below as a summary, but encourage you to call us to discuss your unique situation.
At Fertility Centers of Illinois we use the most current technique of egg freezing called vitrification that better preserves the quality of the eggs. Freezing eggs using older technology is quite difficult because the slow-freezing process allowed ice crystals to form within the eggs. Once these eggs were thawed, they were often too damaged to revive. However, our current process of vitrification involves a rapid cooling process that does not allow ice crystals to form. This breakthrough has made it substantially more likely that frozen eggs can later be used to create an embryo. And under proper care, the frozen eggs can be stored for many years.
If a woman already has a long-term partner or chooses to use donor sperm, then embryo freezing is recommended. Frozen embryos have been used successfully in reproductive medicine for many years. So while there is still no guarantee that every frozen egg or embryo will result in pregnancy and a healthy baby, these options are currently the best available for preserving fertility.
What Makes a Good Candidate
The best candidates for freezing eggs or embryos are women up to age 40 who have clearance from the oncologists to use injectable fertility medications and undergo the procedure. Women choosing either egg or embryo freezing will also need to make frequent visits to our office (sometimes daily) for approximately two weeks.
Taking the Next Step
If you decide you would like to pursue egg or embryo freezing, the first step is to discuss it with your oncologist as you will need to get a medical clearance letter. Then make an appointment with us for a consultation. We will discuss the entire process with you, do an exam, and run tests to ensure your reproductive system can accommodate this procedure. If so, then we can make arrangements to make it all happen as quickly as possible.