Egg freezing can be used as a way to preserve fertility, sometimes for patients who are planning to undergo cancer treatments. However, egg freezing is still considered an experimental procedure. It is more difficult to freeze eggs than it is to freeze sperm or embryos because of eggs’ high water content. We recommend that you fully discuss the benefits, risks, advantages, and disadvantages with our physician prior to making the decision to freeze your eggs.
Sperm can be frozen and stored for future use in either artificial insemination or IVF. This frozen sperm can be used as a backup should future ability to produce viable sperm be diminished. Some reasons for considering sperm cryopreservation include the following: as a precaution when undergoing cancer therapy or prior to a vasectomy if there is a possibility that you may want to have children in the future. Furthermore, during vasectomy or testicular biopsy, it is wise to freeze a specimen of the sperm that is available at the time of the procedure to avoid the potential need for a second surgery. Specimens obtained during surgery will contain low numbers of sperm and can be used only in conjunction with IVF with ICSI.
Before semen can be frozen, a storage consent agreement must be completed. The consent agreement outlines the responsibilities of the laboratory and of you in the process of maintaining the frozen specimen(s). Specimen collection requirements are the same as described above, with special attention to collecting a clean specimen free of contamination.