CRM’s fertility preservation program assists women who wish to freeze eggs or embryos in order to have children later in life. Fertility preservation refers to a number of methods aimed at circumventing the biological clock so that women can conceive a pregnancy in the future. To date, our Center has already had many patients with successful pregnancies resulting from eggs they froze years ago.
Fertility preservation begins with a consultation with one of our CRM physicians, which includes an in-depth discussion of the patient’s needs and the process involved. During this appointment, blood tests and a pelvic ultrasound are performed to assess the number of follicles in the ovaries (ovarian reserve) to give an estimate of the number of eggs that can be obtained within a single cycle of stimulation. A blood test measuring Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) can also provide a measure of ovarian reserve. Together, these diagnostic tests provide excellent quantitative assessments of anticipated number of eggs and determine the best protocol for safely stimulating and egg development.
As ovarian stimulation involves use of injectable hormones, patients attend an orientation class to learn more about the treatment cycle and to practice the injection technique. We encourage all our patients who are undertaking egg freezing treatment to meet with one of our psychologists to discuss all aspects of the treatment process.
Each patient receives an individualized medication protocol. Here, the purpose of the medications is to safely stimulate the ovaries to safely produce more mature eggs than in a natural cycle. The relative number of eggs available will be determined by the ovarian reserve testing.
When the eggs are ready, the patient undergoes the egg retrieval procedure, a quick, 5-10 minute, procedure with anesthesia, and goes home about 45 minutes later. The retrieved eggs are then frozen using a vitrification process. Vitrification of eggs, a novel method developed that allows ultra-rapid cooling, has resulted in excellent success rates with frozen eggs. Since the eggs have less damage, success rates for younger patients using vitrified eggs are similar to that of fresh eggs.
For more information, contact the Fertility Preservation Coordinator at (646) 962-5450.