In the past, young women undergoing treatment for cancer were often not told about fertility preservation options. Typically, physicians were more concerned with treating the cancer as soon as possible than with prolonging the commencement in order to freeze embryos.
However, cancer treatments today often include fertility preservation.
Historically, embryo cryopreservation was the standard for female fertility preservation. This technique had limitations though, as a male donor or partner was required. Women may not always have a male partner (who they wish to have children with) when they need cancer treatment.
Now, oocyte cryopreservation has been optimized so that women can undergo a egg extraction procedure and freeze their eggs until they’re ready to conceive.
This procedure has been made possible by the development of a quick-freezing technique called vitrification. Egg vitrification results in a survival rate of 98% for the thawed eggs.
That means that young women or women without a male partner can preserve their fertility.
Some clinics are even offering complimentary oocyte cryopreservation for female patients by waiving the clinical fees and receiving drug donations from pharmaceutical companies. This is a tremendous charity, as egg retrieval procedures can cost $10,000.
Check out Anna’s story to hear how this technology could have changed her life.