3. What are the cryopreservation treatment options?
Egg Cryopreservation – Also known as oocyte preservation or egg freezing, is the process of harvesting, freezing, and storing eggs for future use. Hormones are prescribed to patients to stimulate the ovaries, causing multiple follicles to grow. Eggs that are ready to be fertilized will be retrieved, frozen, and stored.
Embryo Cryopreservation – Embryo cryopreservation freezes a fertilized egg through the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF). During IVF, patients are given hormones to stimulate their ovaries to produce a large number of eggs. Once the eggs have developed, they are gently removed and fertilized with sperm, resulting in the formation of an embryo. The embryo is then frozen and stored for future use.
Sperm Cryopreservation – Men and adolescent boys who have reached puberty can freeze sperm prior to medical treatments, certain types of surgery, chemotherapy/radiation therapy, or other conditions that can harm sperm. Under optimal conditions, healthy sperm can be frozen, thawed, and utilized at a later time.
Ovarian Cryopreservation – Ovarian tissue cryopreservation involves removing the egg-producing portion of the ovary (the ovarian cortex) prior to a patient’s medical treatment, such as cancer surgery, chemotherapy/radiation, or gender affirmation surgery. The tissue is frozen and stored, then transplanted in the future to make pregnancy possible.