Elective fertility preservation: is it an option for me?

Natural cycle in vitro fertilization with sperm donor: what are the advantages?
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Elective fertility preservation: is it an option for me?

Elective fertility preservation is a technique that allows us to preserve gametes (oocytes or sperm) to have the opportunity to gestate a genetically own embryo in the future. It is a safe technique that can be performed by all those women who want to postpone motherhood due to different situations in their personal lives.

What is elective fertility preservation?

In the case of women, the technique consists of:

  • A controlled ovarian stimulation to grow the maximum number of follicles.
  • Later, when these follicles have reached a diameter greater than 18 mm, a medication is administered for the maturation of the oocytes.
  • Finally, two days later, we performed the follicular puncture to retrieve the oocytes.
  • Once we have the oocytes, they will be vitrified.

In the case of men, those who must undergo chemotherapy-type treatment usually freeze seminal samples. Also many men who, for different reasons, may not be able to leave a fresh sample the day it is needed and cryopreserve a seminal sample for prevention.

What are the requirements to be able to cryopreserve oocytes?

Taking into account that women are born with an ovarian reserve that we lose throughout life, we know that age is a key factor in reproduction. Therefore, it is recommended to do it in women under 35 years of age: above this age the quality of the oocytes worsens. This significantly reduces the chances that those eggs can give us pregnancy in the future.

In order to cryopreserve eggs, it is important to have a good ovarian reserve, since we need a minimum number of oocytes to have more pregnancy options. Not all oocytes will survive thawing. And those that survive will not all give rise to an evolutionary embryo. Therefore, we will always lose along the way.

Is vitrifying oocytes a guarantee of pregnancy?

No, in no case is it a guarantee of pregnancy in the future. It is always recommended that once the gestational desire arrives and if the circumstances accompany it, try to spontaneously seek pregnancy first.

The idea would be to use these vitrified oocytes only in those cases in which spontaneous pregnancy does not occur. And always assuming that perhaps there is no pregnancy despite having used these vitrified oocytes from an earlier age.

Anna Goday. Gynecologist specialized in assisted reproduction of FIVclínic.

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