Fertility Preservation

Cryopreservation is the freezing of tissue for use in the future. Frozen sperm, eggs (oocytes) and embryos do not age. In fertility planning, cryopreservation can be used at different stages and for different reasons.

Embryo cryopreservation

Often times in IVF, there are embryos created in excess of what will be transferred initially.  Excess embryos can be frozen for future use.  Embryo freezing is a well-established as the first baby born from a frozen embryo was born in 1984.

Freezing excess embryos for future use reduces the cost of subsequent assisted pregnancies. In our center, the pregnancy and live birth rates from frozen embryos are similar to those from fresh embryos.

Freezing all embryos for subsequent transfer may be advised for women and their partners who may desire to delay childbearing, transfer embryos into a gestational carrier, or may be facing a medical problem, (endometriosis or cancer for example)  that might require the gonadotoxic treatments or removal of the ovaries.

Oocyte (egg) cryopreservation

A woman can choose to have unfertilized eggs preserved for future use.  The eggs can be frozen in the same way as above. There are a number of indications for egg freezing. In the past, most women who chose to freeze eggs did it because they were facing medical or surgical treatments that posed a threat to their future fertility such as chemotherapy or ovarian surgery. Over time egg freezing has become more successful and more and more women are choosing to freeze their eggs to ensure options for future fertility given the normal age-related decline in fertility.

Hear our own Dr Emily Jungheim talk about Egg freezing on STLMOMS

The Fertility and Reproducitve Center offers elective egg freezing. There is debate as to when is the most optimal age to consider egg freezing. This is a highly individualized decision that our specialists will help you navigate.

If you are interested in freezing your eggs to preserve your future fertility, Call us today to schedule an appointment: 314 286-2400.

Sperm banking

There are a number of reasons as to why a man may choose to bank sperm. While many men bank sperm because they are facing medical or surgical treatments that may impact their future fertility, many omen bank sperm temporarily to have sperm available as a back up for IVF or IUI if they travel frequently and/or have difficulty collecting and would like to have a back up sperm source available.

Occasionally, men have considered sperm banking prior to vasectomy, prior to initiation of cross hormone therapy (i.e male to female transgender).

Usually sperm from one ejaculate is enough for future ICSI treatment. Depending on the reason for sperm banking, one banking appointment may be suitable for future artificial insemination as well.

Frozen sperm remains viable for up to 20+ years.