Innovation Fertility Preservation and IVF
Kutluk Oktay, MD, PhD, FACOG
Infertility & Fertility Preservation Specialist located in New York, NY & New Haven, CT
Women who choose to postpone having a child can use elective fertility preservation to save their eggs, ovarian tissue or embryos. Dr. Oktay pioneered numerous fertility preservation techniques. If you’re considering elective fertility preservation, Dr. Oktay at Innovation Fertility Preservation and IVF in New York City, New York, wants you to know that you have options when it comes to preserving your fertility. Please don’t hesitate to contact him or to book an appointment online if you’d like the opportunity to consult one of the leading experts in elective fertility preservation.
Elective Fertility Preservation Q & A
What is elective fertility preservation?
Fertility preservation refers to several medical procedures that freeze a woman’s eggs, ovarian tissue or embryos so they can be used to conceive a child at a later time. The term “elective” simply means that the procedure is the patient’s choice — not a medical necessity — because they want to have children in the future.
Women may have many personal reasons for choosing elective fertility preservation. Whatever the reason, having the option is important because a woman’s fertility rapidly drops every year after the age of 35. This means that women may increase their chance of having a healthy baby after 35 by using elective fertility preservation.
What procedures are used to preserve fertility?
Cryopreservation, or freezing, is the method used to preserve fertility safely. When it comes to the specific procedures, women have three options:
- Freeze mature, unfertilized eggs
- Freeze the embryo after the egg is fertilized
- Freeze ovarian tissue
To preserve an egg, the woman takes fertility drugs to trigger maturation of eggs in the ovaries. The eggs are then harvested and either immediately frozen or fertilized in the lab then frozen.
Preservation of ovarian tissue involves removing part or all of the ovary, using safe laparoscopic surgery. The outer layer of the ovary contains numerous immature eggs, so freezing the ovarian tissues preserves the eggs in their natural environment.
What are the benefits of ovarian tissue freezing?
Dr. Oktay is a leading expert in fertility preservation, particularly in cryopreservation of ovarian tissue. In fact, the July 13, 2017 issue of the Daily Mail featured his latest groundbreaking study about ovarian tissue cryopreservation.
Dr. Oktay acknowledges that the procedure is not as well tested in healthy women because it’s primarily used in women with cancer. However, his research shows that ovarian tissue freezing provides two benefits that women won’t get from preserving eggs:
Natural conception: When ovarian tissue is returned to the woman’s body, the immature eggs grow into mature eggs, which restarts the normal monthly cycle and allows her to get pregnant naturally without fertility treatment.
Menopause reversal or delay: Replacing young ovarian tissue stimulates the production and release of estrogen, which reverses or postpones menopause.
Dr. Oktay’s study revealed that almost two out of three women were able to reverse menopause or restore their reproductive function. Nearly two-thirds were able to conceive naturally without in vitro fertilization. HIs findings strongly support the notion that ovarian tissue freezing should no longer be considered an experimental strategy for fertility preservation.
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