When you complete in vitro fertilization (IVF), many embryos are created. You will likely have enough embryos to get pregnant more than once. You can freeze some embryos for later pregnancies. Embryos can be stored for many years. More than half of your embryos will be healthy after thawing.
Helping you preserve your future fertility
At Generations Fertility Care, we use cryopreservation to preserve your chance to have a baby. Cryopreservation refers to the freezing of sperm or embryos and storing them for future use.
What is cryopreservation?
We provide two ways of extending your fertility.
You can bank sperm for future use. Frozen sperm stay healthy for a long time. Once thawed, sperm can be used in fertility treatments like intrauterine insemination or IVF.
Who benefits from cryopreservation?
Cryopreservation helps many people achieve fertility and get pregnant. You may benefit from embryo freezing if you:
Are approaching an advanced reproductive age and not yet ready to have children
Are part of a same-sex couple or other LGBTQ+ relationship and wish to have children
Have cancer and want to have children when you are cancer-free
Have a genetic disorder that affects reproduction
Plan future fertility treatments for additional children
Take medicines that affect fertility
Will soon undergo chemotherapy
Sperm cryopreservation can help if you:
Have a condition that requires sperm be gathered through surgery
Will receive future cancer treatments
Evaluating embryos for freezing
The embryologist on your fertility team monitors and tests your embryos. The doctor selects the healthiest, strongest embryos for freezing.
How we freeze embryos and sperm
Similar methods are used for embryo and sperm cryopreservation.
Your fertility team stores your frozen embryos or sperm in liquid nitrogen at very low temperatures until you need them.
Before you can freeze your embryos, they must be created. Here’s how the process works:
You take hormones and fertility medicines to help your body produce eggs.
Your doctor harvests the eggs.
Your doctor exposes the eggs to sperm.
If you choose IVF, sperm are placed with the eggs in a laboratory for fertilization to take place. The embryos develop for six days.
If intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is used, your doctor injects one sperm into each egg. The fertilized eggs divide for six days.
Your fertility team chooses the healthiest embryos for freezing.
The doctor places the embryos in a cryoprotectant solution. The cryoprotectant replaces the water in the cells.
The doctor cools the embryos to a preservation state.
To freeze sperm, a method similar to embryo cryopreservation is used:
You provide a sperm sample.
The doctor places the sperm in a cryoprotectant solution. The cryoprotectant replaces the water in the cells.
The doctor cools the sperm to a frozen state.
Meet our team
Caring experts by your side
The fertility team at UW Health’s Generations Fertility Care includes experts in fertility, reproduction and embryology.
We offer specialized fertility treatments at Generations Fertility Care in Middleton.
When you come to Generations Fertility Care, you work with highly skilled nurses and nurse practitioners. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) named us a nursing center of excellence. We earned this recognition because:
At least half of our nursing team completed ASRM’s intense training course
Our nurses have at least 2,000 hours of nursing experience
Our nurses have 1,000 hours in women's health care experience
Only 8 percent of fertility care clinics earn the ASRM nursing excellence designation.