Oocyte and Sperm Freezing

Oocyte or Egg freezing has been used since the late 1990s for fertility preservation for young women with cancer who are at risk of sterility as a result of their cancer or its treatment.

Social egg freezing is typically offered to women under 38 years of age who want to preserve the option of having healthy, genetically related children at a later date.

Social egg freezing, followed by in vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer, offers two important benefits to women who anticipate becoming pregnant at an advanced age: it provides them with the possibility of becoming a genetic parent using their frozen–thawed eggs, and it reduces the risk of having children with chromosomal abnormalities associated with ovarian aneuploidy. In addition, for women who do not have a partner or for women who have moral concerns about the status of a developing embryo, egg freezing may be a preferable alternative to embryo freezing.

You might consider egg freezing:

  • When you’re about to undergo treatment for cancer or other illness that may affect your future fertility potential. Certain medical treatments — such as radiation or chemotherapy — can harm your fertility. Egg freezing before treatment might allow you to have children at a later date.
  • You my wish to preserve younger eggs now for future use. Freezing eggs at a younger age may help you preserve your ability to reproduce when the time is right in the future.

Egg freezing has been proven to be more difficult to achieve compared to embryo and sperm freezing due to their low post-thaw survival rates and fertilization rates. Thus, it is not a common practice for most of the fertility centers to freeze the eggs.

What is Sperm freezing

Sperm freezing and storage is the procedure whereby sperm cells are frozen to preserve them for future use. Sperm cells have been frozen and thawed successfully for more than 40 years. By using special technology and keeping sperm in liquid nitrogen at minus 196 degree C, it can be stored for many years while maintaining a reasonable quality.

Men are able to freeze their sperm for use in their own future treatment or to donate to someone else’s treatment. Donated sperm usually has to be quarantined for three or six months and screened for infections before it can be used by a recipient.

You might consider sperm freezing:

1. When male partner is not available or may have difficulties to produce semen on the day of Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) or In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).

2. When male partner is going to undergo radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

3. Undergoing certain types of pelvic or testicular surgery.

How many samples of sperm do I need to freeze?

You need to freeze between two to five samples depending on the situation. Recommend abstaining from intercourse and ejaculation for at least three days but not longer than five days before the first sample, and for about three days between the samples.

How effective is sperm freezing?

It’s a highly effective process for people looking to preserve their fertility. Of course, some sperm don’t survive the freezing process. If the sample is of high quality, this reduction isn’t an issue for successfully conceiving a healthy baby.