Fertility preservation combines specifically designed procedures and techniques to help individuals improve their chances of having biological children. Remarkable innovations are made in this field and it has changed the aspect of fertility for the better. In this way, people can preserve their fertility irrespective of societal norms and traditional policies.
The constant guilt of the biological clock being ticking is eventually vanishing and these procedures give reproductive autonomy and control over the timeline of life.
Fertility Preservation Procedures
- Sperm Cryopreservation: This is also known as sperm freezing. It is the most common method practiced for preserving male fertility. In this procedure, the semen is collected through ejaculation. After that, it is processed, frozen, and stored at optimal temperature and condition for later use. This method is a game-changer as it preserves high-quality sperm especially beneficial for someone undergoing medical treatments that could affect sperm production.
- Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE): This is a surgical procedure in which a small piece of the testicular tissue is removed from the testicles. Subsequently, the tissue is examined for the presence of sperm which will be extracted and stored for use. This procedure is typically performed for men with low sperm counts due to various medical conditions.
- Ejaculatory Duct Obstruction Surgery: It is a surgical procedure performed to remove the blockage in ejaculatory ducts. The blockage prevents the sperm from being ejaculated during intercourse. This method corrects the dysfunction and promotes natural fertility. After the procedure, if the sperm quality is improved the couples can opt for natural conception.
- Testicular Tissue Cryopreservation: In this procedure, a small piece of testicular tissue is removed through biopsy. This tissue contains immature sperm cells and is effective in cases where mature sperm are not released through ejaculation. It is then frozen and stored for future use.
- Sperm Sorting: It is a technique that involves the selection of the healthiest sperm that could be stored for future use. It is commonly used in cases where a male partner has low sperm motility and count. By selecting and storing the most viable sperm the chances of getting pregnant are improved.
- Gonadal Shielding: This a method that is used to protect the testicles, especially in cases of radiation therapy from severe damage. Specialized devices and carefully aligned positioning covering the testicular area prevent radiation beams from damaging sperm-producing cells.
- Egg Cryopreservation: Eggs that are retrieved from ovaries are frozen and stored at very low temperatures. The eggs are usually stimulated using hormonal medications to improve the chances of producing multiple eggs. The technique in which the eggs are frozen is known as vitrification. Due to various reasons, women opt for this procedure that preserves their fertility. Women choose to undergo this procedure due to medical as well as personal reasons. By securing their reproductive options women can embrace childbirth, and motherhood and even face challenging treatments at their own pace.
- Embryo Cryopreservation: This is another procedure that is a crucial part of the IVF process. After retrieving eggs it is fertilized with sperm in the laboratory. Eventually, the highest quality embryo is selected for cryopreservation and is stored for future use.
- Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation: It is a surgical procedure in which a small piece of ovarian tissue is removed that contains potential eggs. The tissue is frozen and saved for later so that at the right time it could be implanted into the woman’s body or used to get mature eggs. This procedure secures a woman’s fertility if there is a risk of losing ovarian function.
- Fertility Sparing Surgery: It is a surgery that removes the cancerous tissues while preserving the reproductive organs. At early stages of cancer affecting reproductive organs only the affected tissue is surgically removed improving chances of fertility.
- In Vitro Maturation: In this process, the immature eggs are collected from the ovaries and they are matured in a laboratory. Later it is fertilized with high-quality sperm in an IVF procedure. This procedure is suited for women who have trouble with traditional ovarian stimulation.
Fertility Preservation: Purpose
- Medical Treatments: In certain cases when one has to undergo complicated medical treatments like chemotherapy it is advised to preserve fertility to ensure the possibility of biological children.
- Delayed Family Planning: Many individuals have different ideas and interests when it comes to career goals, settling down, and family planning. Fertility preservation provides them the complete freedom to make conscious choices about careers and life. It will allow them to embrace parenthood whenever they feel ready.
- Medical Conditions: Certain conditions that affect reproductive organs and hormones pose a threat to fertility. In such cases, fertility preservation should be opted to safeguard fertility while addressing health concerns.
- Genetic conditions: Fertility preservation also helps to avoid the passing of inheritable genetic conditions. By this family planning could be done effectively while minimizing genetic risks.
- Premature Ovarian Insufficiency: It is a condition that leads to early menopause as the ovaries cease functioning before 40. Fertility preservation offers a solution for women with this condition to freeze and use their eggs in the future.
- Infertility Treatments: Preserving eggs, sperm, and embryos allows couples undergoing fertility treatments like IVF future opportunities for conception.
Fertility Preservation: Benefits
- Family Planning Flexibility: With fertility preservation, it is possible to delay family planning as you don’t have to worry about the biological clock ticking anymore. After preserving healthy eggs and sperm one can start a family at the right time without feeling any pressure.
- Relationship flexibility: The couples don’t feel the need to conceive immediately once they have preserved their fertility. This allows them to work on their relationship and strengthen it so that they will be emotionally prepared for parenthood.
- Quality of life: Fertility preservation can certainly improve quality of life, especially in the case of cancer survivors. This option gives them the confidence and hope to undergo treatment enhancing the recovery process.
- Emotional Relief: Preserving your fertility gives you the right emotional relief and satisfaction. Undergoing certain medical treatment could be overwhelming and the fact that their fertility is well preserved could give them a sense of relief.
Genetic preservation is a modern reproductive aspect that addresses a range of concerns. It empowers individuals to safeguard their fertility while they deal with personal as well as medical challenges. Genetic preservation allows one to protect their genetic legacy while ensuring body autonomy.