Texas Fertility Center Logo White

Meet Our Fertility Specialists

Freezing Eggs, Sperm and Embryos

Fertility preservation through freezing eggs, sperm and embryos

Freezing tissue is a safe and widely used technique

By cryopreservation, or cellular tissue “freezing,” scientists and physicians can save cells or tissue to be used at a later time. Freezing eggs, sperm and embryos is a commonly used technique that fertility doctors and embryologists use to preserve reproductive tissues for future pregnancies.

Egg freezing

For women not ready to become pregnant, egg freezing can be a good strategy to protect opportunities for pregnancy down the road. After ovarian stimulation, eggs are removed from the body and can be frozen for later use. When the woman is ready to conceive, eggs are thawed and exposed to sperm, with the resultant embryo transferred back into the uterus for pregnancy.

Eggs can be kept frozen indefinitely. New techniques such as vitrification have allowed successful freezing and thawing of human eggs with excellent pregnancy rates.

Egg freezing is often used for women who know they will be trying to conceive at older ages, as well as for women with a diagnosis of cancer or some other medical problem requiring chemotherapy or other treatments that preclude pregnancy.

Sperm freezing

Sperm can be frozen for men postponing family-building, as well as for those whose partner may be undergoing procedures requiring sperm on a day when the male partner cannot be present. There are several common reasons for freezing sperm.

  • When there is a plan for chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer, with the potential for dramatically reduced sperm production
  • As a back-up for IVF or IUI procedures, if the male will be out of town or anticipates difficulty in producing a specimen
  • As a second source of sperm when sperm counts are severely low, to boost sperm available for the procedure
  • For men planning a vasectomy who might want other children later, in order to avoid having to undergo invasive procedures for future family-building

Embryo freezing

Freezing embryos allows a pregnancy to be achieved at some point in the future. This highly effective technique means that patients can save embryos now for future use. After an egg and sperm have successfully completed fertilization and the first several rounds of growth and replication, the collection of cells (called an embryo) can be cryopreserved for future use. For couples undergoing IVF, this can mean several different pregnancies without having to undergo multiple egg retrieval cycles.

Embryo freezing is commonly used in IVF cycles for patients attempting pregnancy now, but can also be used for patients who are committed to pregnancies in the future. These couples may not be ready to get pregnant right now due to work commitments or medical conditions, but are concerned about age-related or treatment-related fertility changes happening before they’re ready for pregnancy.

Take the first step toward fertility preservation

If you are ready to protect your future, contact us today.

Embryo, sperm and egg freezing is a safe, smart and effective way to protect your family-building interests for the future. Our San Antonio fertility doctors are experienced in helping individuals and couples build their future families together with every step. Please reach us here to schedule an appointment to learn more about embryo, sperm or egg freezing and to discuss your next steps.