Hi everyone. Fertility preservation has been in the news recently as more and more companies are extending fertility preservation as a covered health benefit. For women, fertility preservation may be done in two primary ways; oocyte freezing and embryo freezing. Where a woman is in life and what she wants out of the fertility preservation process will help determine which preservation method is best for her needs.
It is common for women with fertility issues to have questions about their chances for getting pregnant. The likelihood varies from person to person and is directly related to each woman’s diagnosis. Traditionally, women with a diminished ovarian reserve or who are diagnosed as poor responders are among those with the lowest pregnancy success rates. This is partially because of a decreased egg quality which both inhibits pregnancy and increases the likelihood of miscarriage. However, the hormone DHEA is changing these odds.
Women are increasingly turning to egg freezing to preserve their fertility. Although women are biologically most fertile before age 35, this timeline is not always ideal. Egg freezing harvests younger, healthier eggs and stores them until a woman is ready to start a family. Although there is a cost for this service, the benefits can far outweigh the costs. Additionally, in some instances egg freezing is covered by insurance.
For couples at a high risk for genetic disease, the decision to have children is not a simple one. Couples must weigh their desire for children with the likelihood of a chromosomal defect. Thankfully, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, commonly referred to as PGD, allows genetic diseases to be identified in embryos as a part of in vitro fertilization. The embryos are tested prior to transfer and implantation to ensure healthy embryos are transferred.