Fertility Preservation

The Fertility Center of Charleston is proud to offer fertility preservation for women or men who wish to preserve their eggs, embryos, or sperm. This might include preservation prior to cancer treatments or for those delaying parenthood to focus on career or for lifestyle reasons. The preservation process consists of cryopreserving (freezing) genetic materials to be used at a later time. Learn more about:

Egg Preservation

The Fertility Center of Charleston offers egg preservation for women who wish to preserve their eggs prior to cancer treatments, for those delaying parenthood to focus on career, or for other lifestyle reasons. The preservation process consists of cryopreserving (freezing) eggs which can later be thawed, fertilized, and placed back inside the uterus when a woman is ready to pursue a family.

During the process, the ovaries are stimulated with medication to mature multiple eggs similar to the beginning stages of IVF. Before the eggs can be released they are retrieved using a procedure known as ultrasound-guided transvaginal aspiration. During this procedure, an ultrasound probe is used to see the ovaries and surrounding structures and gentle suction is used to remove the fluid and egg. The eggs (oocytes) are then frozen and stored for future use. When ready to be used, the oocytes are thawed and fertilized with sperm to create embryos for placement inside the uterus. The frozen oocytes have no expiration date and can be stored until the woman is prepared to start a family.

Sperm Preservation

The standard strategy for male fertility preservation is cryopreservation of sperm. This procedure can be preformed prior to cancer treatment, prior to a vasectomy (in the event of life changes and regret), to preserve fertility in a man suffering from testicular failure, or for convenience if a partner travels (is unavailable at the time of ovulation) or is to be deployed. Frozen sperm can be used for intrauterine insemination (IUI) if sperm parameters are good and multiple collections are obtained. IUI is the process whereby a thawed and prepared semen specimen is placed into a woman’s uterus at the time of ovulation.

Embryo Preservation

Embryo freezing, similar to egg freezing, is another medically accepted way to preserve the possibility of fertility for those facing cancer treatments or who wish to delay parenthood.

As with egg freezing, the ovaries are first stimulated to mature multiple eggs through the use of fertility medications. Then, through the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF), the eggs are removed from the ovaries and fertilized with sperm to create embryos in the lab. The embryos are then frozen for future use and can be thawed and implanted at any time.