Fertility Preservation at PFC
The following appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on SFGate.com...
San Francisco, CA The Pacific Fertility Center (PFC) recently introduced a comprehensive Fertility Preservation Program. It allows women to reduce their risk of declining fertility by having their eggs retrieved and stored while they're still young.
Previously, women facing gynecological surgery or cancer chemotherapy were the main beneficiaries of fertility preservation. That's because these types of treatment can affect a woman's ability to produce eggs in the future. Fertility preservation can also be done to postpone having a child for personal or career reasons. This type of elective social egg freezing is rising in popularity as the process becomes more affordable and popular.
Whether used by women facing imminent treatment or women concerned about age-related declines in fertility, PFC's new Fertility Preservation Program can help safeguard a woman's vital and abundant eggs for future use.
At PFC, the process begins by assessing a woman's reproductive potential with tests and a consultation. Then, fertility medications stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple egg sacs (follicles). Each follicle contains one egg. Once eggs are mature, the woman receives an injection of a hormone that prepares eggs for ovulation. A physician then uses a needle to gently retrieve the eggs under ultrasound guidance and intravenous (IV) sedation.
Eggs are "frozen," using an advanced form of cryopreservation (vitrification). The egg freezing process makes them available for conception later when the natural store of eggs has declined. Egg survival is excellent. However, PFC recommends using frozen eggs within 10 years.
Once a woman decides to become pregnant, eggs are thawed, and the rest of the in vitro fertilization process continues. Eggs are generally thawed six at a time and inseminated with sperm from a partner or sperm donor through a procedure known as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Once the fertilized eggs (embryos) reach a certain stage, the physician transfers the best one(s) to the uterus, using a small insertion catheter under ultrasound guidance. Any extra embryos may be refrozen.
Published success rates of fresh and frozen eggs are similar. Recent publications have shown that women undergoing fertility preservation before age 38 have a greater than 50 percent chance of achieving pregnancy using their vitrified eggs if they have more than six available in storage. PFC also has proven successful birth rates with embryos derived from "frozen" eggs, although its Fertility Preservation Program is too young to know the effectiveness in women over age 40.
PFC's comprehensive Fertility Preservation Program offers women a new option, another way to manage their fertility. It allows patients to take advantage of their healthy, young eggs and plan for pregnancy based on their personal needs and wishes.
About Pacific Fertility Center
Pacific Fertility Center is an international destination for male and female fertility treatment and care. It provides an extensive array of fertility treatment options ranging from intrauterine insemination (IUI), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), Fertility Preservation, Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS) and a Frozen Donor Egg Bank to cutting-edge technology such as vitrification and genetic testing of embryos. For more information: www.pacificfertilitycenter.com.