Last entry we discussed what is involved when a patient undergoes a cycle of egg freezing. While this option of treatment has been utilized successfully for many years, over the last several months the topic has gained national attention as more and more patients opt to undergo the procedure voluntarily as a means to preserve fertility for future family building. This presents the question—what types of patients are candidates for this type of treatment?
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) provides recommended guidelines for the use of egg freezing technologies along with medical indications for the types of patients who would benefit from this procedure, including:
- Patients undergoing treatment for certain cancers where the oncology treatment could jeopardize their future fertility.
- Patients suffering from premature failure of the ovaries related to genetic conditions
- Patients undergoing traditional IVF where a sperm sample is unable to be obtained on the day of their egg retrieval
- Patients who cannot or wish not to cryopreserve embryos following an IVF procedure
- Patients choosing to electively freeze their eggs with the hopes of having biological children at a later age
While there are clear medical reasons for patients to choose this option, the idea of a woman electively choosing to freeze her eggs is not without risk so it’s crucial to ensure you are making an informed and clear decision. Egg freezing does not equal a guaranteed pregnancy so when discussing with your physician it’s important to look at the success their practice has had with the procedure as well as be aware of the risks associated with attempting pregnancy at a later age. Thankfully as the technology becomes more widely available, more data is being collected with the hopes of providing a much broader picture of the potential success that can be had. In the meantime whether you are a patient diagnosed with fertility-related issues or considering the procedure electively, advocate for yourself and ensure you are well informed!