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Fertility Preservation

Fertility Preservation is the latest advancement in reproductive medicine where patients can preserve or retain their fertility or ability to procreate. In present-day urban life, with a hectic lifestyle and increased career orientation, many couples defer having children. However, this might not always be the right decision, since with time the chances of conception go down. But, with medical advancements, young men and women can opt for fertility preservation techniques where they can vitrify their sperm or oocytes to be used later.

Fertility Preservation and Cancer

Generally, patients who undergo cancer treatments in the form of radiation or chemotherapy are prone to fertility issues. The indications for fertility preservation are also for patients undergoing treatments for conditions like fertileukemia’s, lymphomas, sarcomas, systemic lupus erythematosus, acute glomerulonephritis and beehcet’s disease. These treatments are also known to cause reduced fertility or premature ovarian failure.

Our Medical Director, Dr. Durga G Rao is a pioneer in Fertility Preservation Techniques. We offer Oocyte, Sperm and Embryo Vitrification along with Testicular Tissue Cryopreservation and In Vitro Maturation of Oocytes as part of the fertility preservation program.

Fertility Preservation and Women

The rate of cancer in women under the age of 45 years is 4%. Additionally, 15% of all breast cancer cases seem to occur in this age group. Cervical cancer is another common malignancy. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and radical surgery have increased the survival rate in this group to 81%. However these treatments are proven to either slow down the oocyte or sperm production or damage the reproductive organs leading to infertility in the patient.

Women now have a choice to opt for fertility preservation before undergoing these treatments. This technique preserves the right tissue and acts as a solution to the infertility issues arising from these treatments.

Fertility Preservation is recommended for women in the following cases:

  • Prior to chemo-/radiation therapies for cancer, leukemias, lymphomas, etc.;
  • Prior to other medical treatments for hepatitis, autoimmune diseases, lupus etc,
  • Prior to surgical removal of ovaries or large parts of ovaries.
  • Physiological (ovarian) aging;
  • Premature ovarian aging (POA);
  • Individuals exposed to hazards such as radiations, lead, pesticides, fertilizers, heat from furnaces

Fertility Preservation and Men

Semen cryopreservation is the oldest and the most successful option for fertility preservation in male cancer survivors, where the sperms are frozen before initiating cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Another modality is the cryopreservation of testicular tissue, where the tissue from testis is frozen. This tissue can later be thawed and sperm extracted for usage with eggs to create embryos. Timely consultation and initiation of the procedure is the key to preserve the fertility of cancer patients.

Fertility Preservation is recommended for men in the following cases

  • Prior to chemo-/radiation therapies for cancer, leukemias, lymphomas, etc.
  • Prior to other medical treatments for hepatitis, autoimmune diseases, arthritis, etc.
  • Prior to surgical removal of testicles or large parts of testicles
  • Individuals exposed to hazards such as radiations, lead, pesticides, fertilizers, heat from furnaces

Fertility Preservation Options

Advancements in cryobiology have helped evolve the concept of fertility preservation. Oocytes, sperms, embryos and testicular tissue can be cryopreserved and can later be used for conception. At OASIS we use a novel technique called VITRIFICATION to cryopreserve various reproductive tissues. Vitrification is proven to be an effective, simple, inexpensive, rapid procedure leading to higher survival and developmental rates than those achievable with alternative methods.

Oocyte Vitrification
Egg freezing via VITRIFICATION is a safety net available at Oasis where a women’s eggs are frozen and used at a later stage when she decides to get pregnant naturally using her own genetic material. This procedure is not yet available in most centres in India.

Embryo Cryo Preservation
This is the most efficient technique that offers the couple an opportunity to have a family. In this technique women’s eggs are fertilized with the sperm of the husband and then frozen, so that the embryos can be used when the couple is ready to have a baby.

Ovarian Transplantation
Ovarian transplantation is a technique where a small piece of ovarian tissue is cryo-preserved. Later the tissue is thawed and re transplanted, when pregnancy is desired. This is still a new technique and also not very successful as of date. However, with emerging technology this technique is sure to bring wonderful results in the future.

Semen Freezing
In the process of Semen freezing, semen is collected and mixed with equal amount of cryoprotectant (chemical to protect the sperm cells from cryo-damage) and stored in Liquid nitrogen.

Associated Treatments: In Vitro Maturation of Oocytes

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