Answer from: Melvin H. Thornton, Associate Professor
The main groups of patients for fertility preservation are both men and women, single men and women, or men and women in relationships, and gay relationships, gay men, lesbian women, but also for people undergoing transitioning. Transgender who are transitioning is important for them to undergo fertility preservation before they completely transition either surgically or medically. So it’s for everyone. It previously was designed for people who were diagnosed with cancer and going to undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy or some type of surgical sterilization. But now it’s designed for everyone just to preserve their fertility for future uses, preserve their fertility before cancer treatment, and preserve their fertility before they transition.
Answer from: Ioannis Zervomanolakis, PhD
The main group of patients that are interested in fertility preservation is, of course, two groups. The first group consists of women with cancer, that are faced with this diagnosis and have to find a way in order to make sure that they can get their children later. The other group that is getting bigger and bigger nowadays are women with careers or women without a relationship that decide to undergo fertility treatment in terms of egg freezing because they want to make sure that they will have oocytes when they decide to have their own family either through a later partnership or so-called single motherhood.
Answer from: Ahmed Amer, DipRCPath, MBA, MSc, MEng
The main group of patients that benefit from fertility preservations are those undergoing medical treatments as cancer treatment where the damage to one’s fertility can be irreversible. Fertility preservation gives them the option of having their own genetic offspring in the future. Additionally another group of patients that may benefit from fertility preservations or those patients that just are not ready to have a baby right now or at this point in life and they want to have some kind of assurance or at least have some options of having their own genetic offspring in the future when they feel that they’re more ready.
Answer from: Jessica Subira, M.D. Consultant in Gynecology, Sub-specialist in Reproductive Medicine
We can classify fertility preservation in mainly two groups. The first one would be what we call social fertility preservation and that would be the option for women that want to postpone their motherhood and they want to get pregnant later on when we know that chances of having a natural pregnancy will decline because of the loss of oocyte quality and that would be the first group of patients. We also have what we call medical fertility preservation and then we have two different groups: oncological patients for whom we have to provide this tool because they are gonna face the treatment that probably will be harmful for the ovaries or the sperm and then we have also fertility preservation options for benign diseases such as for example ovarian surgeries, endometriosis or even benign autoimmune diseases that do not respond to to conventional treatment.
Answer from: Maria José Mendiola, MD, MSc in Human Genetics, MSc in Science Communication, ObGyn
First, we should know that fertility preservation is the general term used to describe treatment options that give patients an opportunity to have a child at a later time. It is useful when patients are faced with a risk of losing their fertility so common reasons why people may choose to consider fertility preservation. Reason one could be if the patient will undergo a treatment, for example, chemotherapy that could imply an urgent fertility preservation so in this way oocytes can be frozen before the required treatment which can affect the quantity and quality of the eggs. On the other hand, reason two, we have a patient that would undergo radiation so that is why emergency cryopreservation of eggs would be ideal. Another reason (number 3) is if the patient would undergo surgery for an oncological condition or a gynecological condition that affects the ovarian reserve. Reason 4, I think that there are patients who may have genetic conditions that can decrease fertility, on the other hand, there are other conditions of a genetic nature which do not imply fertility problems but a had problem in the offspring could be observed in the future so that is why advice is provided to reduce risk through implantation genetic status. Reason 5, if the patient wants to cryopreserve their gametes for social reasons and patients wish to have biological children in the future when conditions due to age could be less probable.
Answer from: Bárbara Silvera Gijón, Embriologist
The groups that go to preserve their fertility are wide, from women and men without a partner, patients diagnosed with cancer and have to undergo chemotherapy or some sterilising treatment, and trans people who are in a period of transition and before they go either surgically or medically transition and they want to preserve their cells for the future.
Who is fertility preservation for?
Some patients more than others may need to preserve their fertility for the future, either due to medical treatment (e.g. cancer treatment) or lack of partner at the moment.