Fertility Preservation

What is fertility preservation?

Fertility preservation saves and protects your embryos, eggs, sperm and reproductive tissues. This helps make it possible for you to have a child sometime in the future. It’s an option for adults and even some children of both sexes. Fertility preservation is common in people whose fertility is compromised due to health conditions or diseases (medically-indicated preservation) or when someone wishes to delay having children for personal reasons (elective preservation). Personal reasons you may want to delay childbirth could involve finding the right partner/spouse or wanting to wait until you’re more established in your career.

Why is fertility preservation done?

Your future fertility may be at risk if you have certain diseases and conditions. This could be due to the condition itself or to the surgery or medication used to treat the condition. People who wish to delay having children until their late 30s or 40s may choose to preserve their fertility because studies show aging affects fertility.
You may want to preserve your fertility if you wish to have children and are affected by any of the following:

  • Age: If you’re waiting to have children, you may consider preserving your eggs or sperm before fertility declines. Common reasons people delay having children include desires to reach a certain career goal, further their education or wanting to meet the right partner.
  • Cancer: Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery for cancer can affect a person’s fertility.
  • Autoimmune diseases: Diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and their treatments may cause fertility problems.
  • Reproductive health conditions: Endometriosis and uterine fibroids can make it more difficult to become pregnant
  • Transgender care: Gender-affirming treatment can alter a person's reproductive abilities. Saving embryos, eggs or sperm prior to treatment is an option.
Who performs fertility preservation?

Your healthcare provider and a fertility specialist will guide you through the process.
You may receive treatment at a fertility clinic. These facilities usually have treatment areas, a laboratory and equipment needed to maintain frozen specimens for extended periods of time.