Have you Heard about the Fertility Bank?
In today’s world, women are in a position to become mothers at a time of their own choosing. Transforming biology into strategy, Rambam Health Care Campus has opened a new clinic that assists women in fulfilling their dreams of maternity.
In recent years, more and more women have been delaying motherhood until they are older. Existing medical and technological capabilities provide women with the ability to become pregnant and give birth during their forties and even later, at a time when they may no longer need to make difficult decisions about family and other important considerations in their lives. Women can now make an informed decision to defer pregnancy to a later point in time by choosing to preserve their own eggs. Rambam’s newest clinic is in a position to help.
“Freezing and preserving eggs is a process that allows women to have eggs extracted from their own bodies at a young age and to keep them frozen until they want to become pregnant,” explains Dr. Ofer Fainaru, Director of Rambam’s IVF Unit. “In the future, these women will be able to become mothers at even more advanced ages through in vitro fertilization, using their own (younger) eggs,” said Dr. Fainaru. “In contrast to those situations where eggs are frozen due to medical reasons, here we are talking about a situation in which a woman makes an informed choice to delay this phase of her life until such time as is right for her, and not based on societal or other pressures or concerns about her biological clock.”
“Here at Rambam, we have accepted the challenge of helping these women to actualize this possibility at a center of excellence, with an experienced medical team and extensive professional expertise,” he adds. “As befitting this important issue, the conditions we offer our patients also reflect social considerations. We are a government hospital and we see it as our calling to make this wonderful option available to the entire public, and not just to those who are financially well-established.”
The use of an egg preservation bank is a growing phenomenon, as is clear from available data worldwide, including Israel. “Today, we make use of the latest assisted reproductive technology,” explains Dr. Fainaru. “Vitrification (a process in which the eggs are treated with cryoprotective substances and submerged in liquid nitrogen) provides significant advantages over older procedures. It protects the eggs from damage due to freezing and allows for a higher rate of success when they are used in the future. Because of the knowledge and expertise we have accumulated, today we see more embryos, and successful pregnancies and births at the end of this process.”
Israel’s Ministry of Health allows a woman’s eggs to be frozen for non-medical reasons between the ages of 30-41, for use up to the age of 54. Research has shown that the earlier the eggs are frozen, the greater the likelihood of a successful pregnancy in the future. “We know that freezing of eggs up to the age of 35 leads to very good results,” declares Dr. Fainaru. “So for women who are considering the issue, we welcome you to visit our clinic for a consultation as soon as possible.”
In the photo: Rambam’s IVF Unit
Photography courtesy of Rambam Health Care Campus