Fertility Preservation may be used by women who elect to delay child bearing for medical, professional or personal reasons. The primary indications for Fertility Preservation include:
- For women diagnosed with cancer who wish to freeze eggs before starting chemo or radiation therapy which damages the eggs and may cause later infertility or sterility. Over 50,000 reproductive-aged women are diagnosed with cancer annually in the United States. Some chemotherapeutic and radiation regimens are toxic to the ovaries and destroy eggs. Combination chemotherapy regimens and radiotherapy commonly produce menstrual irregularities as well as infertility. Total-body irradiation used in the preparative regimens for bone marrow transplantation is damaging to endocrine and ovarian function. Ovarian damage is drug- and dose-dependent and is related to age at the time of treatment, with progressively smaller doses producing ovarian failure as the patient’s age increases. Total body, abdominal, or pelvic irradiation may cause ovarian damage, depending on the dose, fractionation schedule, and age at time of treatment. Women should consult their reproductive endocrinologist and oncologist to evaluate their individual medical and personal needs in selecting the most appropriate Fertility Preservation technology. In the setting of a newly-diagnosed cancer, embryos, eggs, or ovarian tissue may be frozen as a medical emergency to minimize any delay of cancer treatments.
- Before treatment for autoimmune or benign systemic disease which may cause irreversible loss of fertility.
- Before removal of the ovary(ies) for benign tumors or endometriosis.
- Women with a family history of premature ovarian failure or premature menopause may select to preserve their fertility at a younger age. Some forms of early menopause (premature ovarian failure) are genetically linked. Fertility Preservation offers a chance to preserve eggs before they are depleted.
- To defer reproductive aging. Fertility preservation is an option for women who want or need to delay childbearing in order to pursue educational, career or other personal goals. Because fertility is scientifically proven to be age-dependent, freezing your eggs at an early reproductive age may improve your chance for a future pregnancy and decrease the incidence of birth defects associated with aged oocytes.