TORONTO, April 15 /CNW/ - As revolutionary as the birth control pill, egg freezing, an assisted reproductive technology, is giving younger women an opportunity to slow the ticking of their biological clocks. For instance, a healthy 29 year-old-woman knows she wants to have a biological family; but she has not yet met her life partner, and she is dedicated to building a career. Still, she worries about the statistics that tell her infertility could be an issue, especially as women delay pregnancy. Now, egg freezing provides an opportunity for her to preserve her eggs at the peak of her fertility.
Beginning March 2010, with the launch of HERS (Human Eggs for Reproductive Safekeeping), LifeQuest Centre for Reproductive Medicine became the first fertility centre in Toronto to offer an elective egg freezing program for fertility preservation. Full information about the program is available on the website: www.lifequesteggfreezing.com.
Egg freezing is a new innovation in the field of Assisted Reproductive Technologies. For the past 20 years, it has been possible to freeze embryos, and thousands of babies have been born around the world. Until recently, the technology for freezing unfertilized eggs (oocytes) has not proven reliable, and has resulted in very few pregnancies. However advances in research and new techniques have made egg freezing a viable option for healthy young women.
LifeQuest has been freezing eggs for five years, using a modification of the 'slow freezing' method first reported by 2002 by Italian researchers. The first baby in Canada using this slow freezing method was born to a LifeQuest couple in 2004. Since then, LifeQuest has successfully frozen, stored, and later thawed and fertilized human eggs, with subsequent live births.
"A woman is born with all her eggs; as she ages, they age with her, creating a natural decline in her fertility, especially as she approaches the age of forty," said Dr. Ken Cadesky, Medical Director of LifeQuest Centre for Reproductive Medicine. "Much of this decline in natural fertility is related to the age and the quality of her eggs. Now, with this new technology, a woman's eggs can be frozen at the height of her fertility, then fertilized and implanted when the time is right for her to have her family," he continued.
A woman's age at the time of her egg collection is the biggest determinant of a successful outcome to egg freezing, and any subsequent chance of pregnancy and live birth. The ideal time to freeze a woman's eggs is in her 20's or early 30's. After the age of 37, both the quantity and quality of eggs decline rapidly. LifeQuest offers elective egg freezing to women between the ages of 19 and 36.
"Even though we are very hopeful about egg freezing technology, and the freedom it can offer women today, we are infertility specialists," said Cadesky. "We always tell women 'if the time is right for you, it makes sense to start your family during your most fertile years. However, if the time is not yet right, egg freezing technology offers a chance to preserve your fertility, opening up new windows of opportunity for conceiving a child later on when you are ready.'"
LifeQuest Centre for Reproductive Medicine is one of North America's most comprehensive and respected fertility centres staffed by physicians who have a record of success in the field of fertility medicine. LifeQuest is one of the few private fertility centres to have an on-site embryology lab that provides the latest tests, treatments and technologies available in the field of assisted reproductive technology. Through an affiliation with the University of Toronto, LifeQuest is also a centre for ongoing clinical research the field of fertility medicine.
SOURCE LIFEQUEST CENTRE FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE
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