Monday, January 21, 2008
Medical Reports: Fertile Future
Women who want to put off child birth or preserve their fertility before invasive procedures like chemotherapy are turning to "egg freezing." While it's still considered experimental, Seven's Richard Lemus shows us how one local doctor is hoping to offer more women a better chance at a Fertile Future.
WSVN -- None of us have a crystal ball. We can't see what lies ahead. Marilena Garcia doesn't need one. She can clearly envision one thing in her future.
Marilena Garcia: "I am focused on being a doctor."
Marilena is studying to be an OBGYN and knows she has a long road ahead of her before she can even think about starting a family.
Marilena Garcia: "I do worry about what age I will be when I have children. After I get my practice done and settled in, I might be in my mid 30s."
Since fertility starts to decline after age 35, Marilena is considering freezing her eggs.
Marilena Garcia: "For me it would be a good idea for me to freeze my eggs early on because I'm healthy now."
Dr. Armando Hernandez-Rey: "Egg freezing is basically taking a woman's eggs and freezing them and putting them in suspended animation until they are ready to conceive."
Egg freezing is still considered experimental. There have only been about 250 births worldwide.
Dr. Armando Hernandez-Rey at Baptist Hospital is conducting his own study on egg freezing.
Since there aren't many facilities that offer it in South Florida, he wants to see if his lab can perfect the freezing process, so he can offer it to more women.
Dr. Armando Hernandez-Rey: "The study consists of freezing the eggs, then thawing them after a month's time, then fertilizing."
He's looking for healthy women ages 25 to 35 who are ready to conceive.
If the study is a success, he wants to focus on cancer patients, who want to preserve their eggs before undergoing treatments like chemo or radiation.
Dr. Armando Hernandez-Rey: "What it is offering these patients is the opportunity to preserve their fertility while they are undergoing treatments that could potentially damage them forever."
Marilena doesn't know what lies ahead of her, but she hopes egg freezing will become a viable option, so she can one day invest in a fertile future.
Marilena Garcia: "No worries for me. I'll have my insurance right there."