Personal choices regarding parenthood can be affected by disease and other life events that might have an impact on a person’s fertility. Making informed decisions in this highly personal area is of great importance to the health and well-being of individuals everywhere. The European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare (EDQM) has therefore released a booklet entitled “Fertility preservation – A guide for people facing an illness or life events that may affect their fertility”.
Fertility preservation is the process of freezing and storing a person’s oocytes, sperm, reproductive tissue and/or embryo(s), enabling them to attempt to have biological children later in life. The method of fertility preservation and potential implications of the choices made will depend on the specific situation of each person and their age, among many other factors.
Drafted by the European Committee on Organ Transplantation (CD-P-TO), composed of independent and internationally recognised experts, in collaboration with the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), this booklet aims to provide clear, accurate and balanced information on fertility preservation. It describes situations in which fertility preservation may be considered, the cryopreservation techniques available and the possible uses of stored cells, tissues and embryos. It is intended to inform readers on the different options available so they can ask healthcare professionals the right questions and make decisions suited to their needs and values.