Fertility Preservation

Maintaining fertility nowadays seems to be increasingly imperative. Modern lifestyle, stress, smoking and other factors tend to negatively affect fertility. But not only that. It has become a social phenomenon, especially in Western societies, for women to try to start their family at an advanced age.

Why does fertility preservation concern women?

Today, women's need for professional development leads to the creation of a family at older ages. However, age is known to be the main factor in female infertility. The older the woman, the lower the ovarian sufficiency, quality and quantity of eggs.

Tips to preserve fertility

A couple can take care of fertility preservation by following these tips:

  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Bring aerobic exercise into your life
  • Check your weight
  • Reduce daily and intense stress
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Take care of your body's health
  • Avoid smoking

Of course, no one can guarantee that by following the above tips you will succeed in preserving your fertility. There are many factors responsible for infertility nowadays. But there are also medical solutions that help you preserve your fertility in approved ways.

What is the solution to preserve fertility?

Science and technology now enable us to store and preserve our genetic material, either male or female. Lately, there is more and more talk about a woman's choice to freeze her eggs or otherwise cryopreserve them with the method of oocyte cryopreservation.

The method of oocyte cryopreservation is completely safe and has already given many healthy babies worldwide. Egg freezing essentially stops the biological clock of the eggs at the time of egg collection. Therefore, the thought about this option has become more intense in recent years in order for a woman to complete her family.

Which women are good candidates?

Candidates are women who wish to preserve their fertility for many reasons. For instance:

  • They do not have in their immediate family planning the creation of a family
  • Their age is close to 35 years
  • Have a family history of premature ovarian failure
  • They are about to undergo chemotherapy or radiotherapy, due to a diagnosed malignancy. It is important to inform these women that they have the potential to preserve their fertility before starting any form of treatment.

What is the procedure for oocyte cryopreservation?

The process of oocyte cryopreservation initially requires a notarial act. Then the process is very simple.

The doctor examines the woman's personal history and the condition of her ovaries. Depending on the findings, the appropriate pharmaceutical protocol of a few days for ovarian stimulation is selected. During stimulation, 2-3 ultrasound examinations are usually needed so that the doctor can monitor the procedure.

Shortly before ovulation, the specialist Reproductive Gynecologist, using the method of egg retrieval, collects the resulting eggs. These eggs are preserved by the vitrification method.

What is vitrification?

Vitrification is a relatively new method that has the ability to keep eggs in good condition, even after thawing. The vitrification method dramatically improved fertilization success rates.

Thus, eggs are kept at very low temperatures (-196ο C) and can remain there for many years. When the woman needs them, eggs are thawed which are of very good quality and correspond to a younger woman (age at the time of collection).

Until when can eggs be preserved?

There is no time limit for the years that eggs can be preserved. However, according to existing legislation, they should be used, if the woman so wishes, until she reaches 50 years of age.

What can a man do to preserve fertility?

The man can store sperm. In fact, more and more studies show us that a man's age also plays a role in sperm quality and consequently in fertilization ability. Similar to women, testicular tissue can be preserved.

Reproduction Gynecologist Athanasios Papanikolaou specializes in infertility and Assisted Reproduction issues. She has attended numerous seminars on reproductive and IVF issues, while she continues to be constantly updated on new methods. The doctor encourages women to check their ovarian adequacy and be informed about the choice of cryopreservation of their eggs. Schedule your appointment with him!

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Athanasios G. Papanikolaou
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Athanasios Papanikolaou

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