What is Fertility

Fertility preservation is the process of preserving or protecting eggs, sperm, or reproductive tissue so that a person can use them to have biological children in the future. It is a way to help individuals and couples preserve their fertility in case they face infertility issues in the future.

During the process, the laboratory will freeze the sperm or eggs by cooling to low sub-zero temperature. Men can freeze sperm, semen, or testicular tissue. Women can freeze eggs/oocytes or ovarian tissue.

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Types of Fertility Preservation



Freeze sperm obtained from semen or testicular biopsy



Freeze eggs/oocytes or sometimes ovarian tissues


Married couples

Freeze embryos made from wife's eggs and husband's sperm.

Did you know?

Your fertility starts falling rapidly after
the age of 35 years!

Cancer Survivor facing
Ovarian Failure

By the age of 39 years, one in every 51 women will have been diagnosed with cancer. Advances in anti-cancer treatment have resulted in higher survival rates, but one of the side effects is ovarian failure. Thus, the number of cancer survivors coping with this problem is expected to grow.

Who needs Fertility Preservation?

There are various reasons why someone may opt for fertility preservation.

Medical Reasons

Fertility preservation is a valuable option for individuals suffering through severe medical treatment or genetic condition that could impact their fertility in future. This treatment can range from radiation or chemotherapy due to cancer, as well as transplant and progressive diseases like endometriosis.

Social Freezing

The term ‘social freezing’ is now commonly used to designate egg freezing for non-medical reasons such as non-availability of right partner to settle down or career plans.

With advancing age, it becomes difficult for women over the age of 30 years to conceive as the quality of the eggs diminishes. Working women also prefer this method as it helps them plan a pregnancy at their own pace. Many celebrities choose to freeze their eggs to focus on their career.

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Celebrities who have preserved their eggs

Which are the most common fertility
preservation measures?

There are many options available for preserving your fertility.

Egg Freezing

Egg freezing refers to the process of storing a woman's eggs (oocytes) for future use. This is also called egg cryopreservation. The egg freezing procedure includes ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, and freezing. When the woman is ready, these eggs are thawed and fertilised using partner’s sperm. The embryo is then transferred back to the uterus.

Sperm Cryopreservation

Sperm Cryopreservation, also known as sperm freezing, is the process of freezing the sperm cells. Sperm freezing is the most successful way to preserve a man's fertility so that he can later try to have a child/children. When the person is ready, these sperms can be used to fertilize the eggs. The embryo is then transferred back to the uterus.

Embryo freezing

Embryo freezing is the process of freezing fertilized eggs for later use. This procedure fertilizes eggs with sperm and sometimes create embryos. Embryo freezing is often done after people have received treatment to get pregnant. Examples include In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). These embryos can be transferred back to the uterus when the couple is ready.

Treatment options simplified

Treatment options for men

Fertility in adult males can be maintained via cryopreservation of mature spermatozoa. It is the most popular and well-known approach for an adult male. Cryopreservation should ideally be carried out before beginning cancer treatment.

Masturbation is used to gather sperm samples. One sample of semen can only be utilized for one attempt at pregnancy, hence it is best to collect and store several samples.

Invasive surgical methods, such as TESA/micro-TESE, etc., can be utilized to collect spermatozoa in patients with low sperm counts. Sperm is typically stored for a duration of ten years. Sperm cells are used to fertilize the ovum using assisted reproduction (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), which results in the development of an embryo.
Invasive surgical procedures like TESA, PESA, micro-TESE, etc. can be utilized to retrieve spermatozoa in patients with a low sperm count or in males who are unable to produce an ejaculate.

Sperms retrieved by testicular biopsy in this manner are maintained. When spermatozoa are obtained and cryopreserved prior to chemotherapy, it is helpful for cancer patients.

These may be applied to fertilize oocytes and produce embryos following cancer treatment or whenever the couple is prepared.
Although still in the experimental stage, this choice may hold promise for prepubescent males. Prior to receiving cancer therapy, testicular tissue and Spermatogonial stem cells [SSCs] are cryopreserved.

Seminiferous tubules are implanted with SSCs made from frozen testicular tissue. It goes through self-renewal and establishes spermatogenesis, which should enable natural conception without the need for additional reproductive treatments.

Treatment options for women

Women who are unmarried, post pubertal girls (adolescent girls whose periods have begun), or those without a long-term spouse should use this approach.

The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology recommends it as the best strategy for preserving fertility because it has a long history of success.

Oocyte retrieval and controlled ovarian stimulation are used to accomplish this. Cryopreserved mature eggs (metaphase stage, Mll oocytes) are collected. Using ART/IVF, frozen eggs are thawed later and fertilized.

This method is also effective for married women whose partners are away from home for an extended amount of time.

It is one of the best & established method for fertility preservation in a married couple.

Partner availability is a must for embryo freezing method. It requires ovarian stimulation, followed by egg retrieval, fertilization, & cryopreservation of the embryos.

Frozen embryos can be stored for up to 5 years. A frozen embryo transfer can be done at any time when the couple is ready.

It is a newer technique for overcoming anticancer treatment delays.

Immature eggs are obtained trans-vaginally, where they are then matured in a specific medium. Mature eggs can then be cryopreserved, or if a partner is available, an embryo can be created through ART and frozen.

The benefit of this approach is that chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be started right away.
It is an experimental option. For women who are unable to postpone treatments like radiotherapy or chemotherapy, this may be an alternative.

Throughout the menstrual cycle, it is possible at any time. Because it involves surgery, general anesthesia is necessary.

With this technique, either the entire ovary or the ovarian cortex containing the primordial follicles can be cryopreserved. After the patient’s therapy is finished, the cryopreserved tissue is thawed and put back into the body.

Due to the age-related decline in ovarian reserve, it should ideally be performed on young women. Following transplantation, ovarian endocrine function typically lasts for about 5 years.

Depending on the type of cancer, there is a small risk that ovarian tissue transplantation will reintroduce malignant cells.

Your biological clock is ticking away.
Have you taken steps to preserve your fertility yet?
If not, now is the time!