At Florida Institute for Reproductive Sciences and Technologies, we provide highly personalized reproductive services, including fertility preservation, to patients in South Florida and beyond. Fertility preservation involves the freezing of sperm, eggs, or embryos for future use. Fertility preservation is typically considered when natural fertility is threatened, such as in cases of ovarian or testicular cancer, impending treatment for other types of cancer that will cause damage or destruction of eggs or sperm or anticipated aging before a woman will have an opportunity to conceive. Military personnel assigned to active combat often consider fertility preservation nowadays. Preserved tissue can be used later in life, or even after a person's death, to try to achieve a pregnancy. Visit our center, or make an appointment for a telephone consultation to establish a relationship with our experienced, compassionate physician to learn more about the following technologies:
Embryo and Sperm, and Egg Freezing (Cryopreservation)
Evidence shows that prolonged storage of embryos, sperm, and eggs has no adverse effect, though the freezing process itself can decrease the viability of these tissues. Children born as a result of frozen embryo transfer or the use of frozen sperm do not have a higher rate of birth defects nor have any long-term effects were identified. Embryos, eggs, and sperm are frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen at the temperature of -196 degrees C (-321 degrees F).
The number of embryos transferred to a patient’s uterus after IVF depends upon several factors, including the number that is available, the quality of the embryos, the woman’s age and the patient’s wishes. The more embryos transferred, the greater the chance for pregnancy to result. The more embryos transferred, however, the greater the chance for a multiple pregnancies. While twins are associated with a slightly higher chance of complications than singleton pregnancies, high-order multiple pregnancies (more than two fetuses) are associated with a much higher chance of problems. The most serious of these is premature delivery.
For these reasons, most patients are advised to limit the number of healthy-appearing embryos transferred to the uterus when many such embryos are available. This is an issue that will be thoroughly discussed with you before, and especially if, you find yourself in the fortunate position of having excess, good-quality embryos as the result of an IVF procedure. Good quality embryos that are not transferred can be frozen for transfer at a later date. FIRST has storage facilities on the premises and will store the embryos without charge for one year.
The technique of embryo freezing has been used in IVF for many years and has the great advantage of providing embryos for future use without the need for another egg collection. Currently, there are no extra charges at FIRST for embryo freezing. There are charges, though significantly less than for a full IVF cycle, for the transfer of frozen embryos.
Keep in mind that poor quality embryos do not freeze very well and some good quality embryos do not survive the freeze-thaw process well either. (Usually, more than 75% of embryos survive thawing.) Even if embryos thaw well, the implantation rates for frozen embryos are not as high as for fresh embryos. These facts will be taken into consideration when deciding how many fresh embryos to transfer or whether or not to freeze embryos.
Sperm freezing and storage is available at FIRST. Some patients find this service particularly convenient if the male partner has difficulty producing a specimen on demand or has a schedule that will not enable him to be readily available to give a semen specimen when needed. The fee to freeze a specimen is $360. Often, one ejaculate may be divided and used for more than one treatment cycle. We will store your specimen for one year free of charge.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer and will be undergoing chemotherapy or radiation in the near future you will need to bank your sperm emergently, before these cancer treatments negatively impact your ability to produce sperm. For such cases, we will gladly set up an emergency consult for you so we can get to work as quickly as possible to give you an opportunity to extend your fertility.
Egg banking involves the cryopreservation (freezing) of female eggs for future use. To bank eggs, the eggs must first be collected from the ovaries via an egg retrieval procedure through the same method used for in-vitro fertilization (IVF). You can learn more about that procedure by clicking on the "IVF" button on the menu located on the right of this page.
Keep in mind that, whever you may decide to bank your eggs, there are no guarantees that you will be able to have a live birth from future treatment using your cryopreserved eggs. to be reasonably assured that you will be successful, we recommend that you bank a minimum of 15 to 20 mature eggs. Not all retrieved eggs will be mature enough, or of good enough quality, to be cryopreserved, so it may require several harvesting cycles for some women to obtain a sufficient number of eggs to be confident that they will be able to succeed with treatment when the time comes.
After the eggs are harvested, they must be dehydrated before they are frozen. Eggs can be stored for years, or even decades and successfully thawed, inseminated through intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) with IVF, and then transferred to the uterus to achieve pregnancy. FIRST provides this service for women who have already banked their eggs or who choose to use cryopreserved donor eggs and Dr. Rodriguez is among of the most well versed embryologists in the delicate techniques associated with egg thawing and subsequent ICSI!
Reasons a woman may want to consider egg banking include the desire to delay pregnancy, which may be for a variety of personal reasons; perhaps you are waiting to find the right partner or are in the midst of building your career. In such cases, it is best to bank your eggs below the age of 37 to increase the chance that the frozen eggs you bank are healthy enough to undergo IVF, and ultimately result in a live birth when you are ready to become pregnant.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer and will be undergoing chemotherapy or radiation in the near future you will need to bank your eggs emergently, before these cancer treatments negatively impact your egg supply. For such cases, we will gladly set up an emergency consult for you so we can get to work as quickly as possible to give you an opportunity to extend your fertility.