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Dr. Samuel Chantilis, M.D.

Best Doctors: Infertility 2009,2010,2012 

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What is fertility preservation?

Fertility preservation in women involves proactive egg collection and freezing before advanced maternal age impacts egg quality. This advanced IVF procedure can also be employed prior to cancer treatment to protect sperm or eggs from damaging treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy. Fertility preservation also helps women “freeze” the age of their eggs as insurance against delayed family building, inheritable diseases or premature ovarian failure.

What types of fertility preservation are available?

Egg freezing, sperm freezing, and embryo freezing (also known as cryopreservation) are three options in preserving female and male infertility. Recent breakthroughs in egg freezing techniques that minimize ice crystals make this a viable option in fertility preservation. 

“If you are between the ages of 21 and 38, elective fertility preservation can protect your reproductive options after your 40th birthday or before cancer treatment.”

How are eggs, sperm, and embryos frozen?

Two methods exist to freeze eggs, sperm, and embryos: slow freezing or flash freezing (vitrification). The process for egg freezing or embryo freezing begins with fertility medications to cause a woman to produce multiple eggs. A fertility doctor will then harvest the eggs during IVF to combine them with sperm to form an embryo, or prepare and freeze just the eggs. Frozen eggs, sperm and embryos are stored in liquid nitrogen.  

Am I a candidate for egg freezing?

If you are between the ages of 21 and 38, elective fertility preservation can protect your reproductive options after your 40th birthday or before cancer treatment.