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For women and couples who do not wish to pursue pregnancy now, but would like an opportunity to do so in the future, Generations Fertility Care in Middleton, Wisconsin, offers oocyte cryopreservation.
Oocyte cryopreservation, or egg freezing, allows you to store unfertilized eggs (oocytes) until the time you are ready to begin attempting pregnancy.
Thanks to technological advances, success rates for individuals using frozen eggs may now approximate those using fresh eggs. Because of these rates, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine removed the experimental label from the process in January 2014.
It is currently being recommended for women who are at high risk of losing future fertility due to medical conditions (family history of premature menopause) or medical treatments (surgery or chemotherapy) that can destroy ovarian tissue, including oocytes.
This innovative therapy is not currently recommended by ASRM for women hoping to bank oocytes to circumvent the effects of reproductive aging due to incomplete data on efficacy, cost-effectiveness and risks, however, can still be performed after thorough discussion of these concerns with our experienced reproductive endocrinologists.
Cryopreservation, done through a process called vitrification, instantly freezes the oocyte into a glass-like cell. In essence, these eggs are frozen in "suspended animation" at this age, perhaps indefinitely.
The process to remove the oocytes is the same as that used to collect eggs for in vitro fertilization.
The oocytes are then immediately vitrified. Those frozen oocytes can be thawed and used in the future, though one must bear in mind that older women are more prone to have more complicated pregnancies.