Bennett Fertility Institute (BFI) is now offering egg freezing and storage (oocyte cryopreservation, OC) for qualified patients. While this procedure is still considered experimental, it may help women about to undergo cancer treatment or women who wish to delay childbearing.
OC has been studied on a limited basis in several clinics throughout the world for approximately 10 years. It is now offered by at least half of all in vitro fertilization (IVF) programs in the U.S. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) considers OC experimental. It therefore requires Institute Review Board (IRB) approval and must be under research protocol.
The two major categories of patients who might benefit from OC are women who need chemotherapy for cancer, treatment that may result in infertility or sterility because of toxic effects on ovarian function. Women who wish to delay childbearing for social reasons (professional considerations etc.) may benefit from freezing eggs at a younger age, when eggs are more abundant and of better quality.
OC requires medical and surgical treatment similar to IVF in order to obtain eggs. Eggs can be frozen and stored for many years. Once thawed, the eggs are fertilized with husband’s sperm in the laboratory (as in conventional IVF) and a limited number of fertilized eggs (embryos) are then transferred to the uterus several days later.
Because OC is a new procedure, success rates in terms of pregnancy have not yet been established. It nevertheless provides hope for pregnancy in women who must or wish to delay childbearing.
Please contact Bennett Fertility Institute (405-949-6060) for information on oocyte cryopreservation.