Fertility Preservation for Cancer Patients (Oncofertility)
Fertility preservation considerations
Carolina Conceptions understands that when one is diagnosed with cancer, one is faced with many important, potentially life altering decisions. Thinking about one’s future fertility is an important consideration.
Cancer treatment can affect reproductive potential in one of several ways:
- Have no affect on one’s fertility.
- In men, sperm counts may be decreased temporarily or permanently.
- Women may have temporary or permanent alteration of their menstrual cycles due to adverse effects of treatment on their ovaries.
- Fertility may be compromised with a permanently lower sperm count or lower egg reserve that will not improve over time.
- Permanent sterility may result with either no sperm or an absence of eggs.
The risk of infertility depends upon many variables including type and dose of chemotherapy, location and dose of radiation, extent of surgery and one’s age and type of cancer.
It is important to consider preserving your fertility BEFORE you begin your cancer therapy.
DID YOU KNOW?
If you are a cancer patient interested in preserving fertility before chemo and/or radiation treatment, we do our best to provide SAME DAY appointments.
Fertility preservation options
Options for fertility preservation include
- Sperm banking of ejaculated sperm or testicular sperm.
- Egg (oocyte) freezing for women with cancer.
- Embryo freezing (for women who have a male partner).
- Fertility sparing surgery or radiation shielding of testicles or ovaries.
- Ovarian suppression.
Sperm freezing is done for several reasons. If the male is about to undergo radiation or chemotherapy for cancer, he can freeze sperm for use in the future. Chemotherapy and radiation may permanently damage the testicles so that sperm production is halted. Sperm can also be frozen for short term use for infertility therapy whenever the male plans to be away from the female. For example, men in the military who are being deployed can “bank” samples of sperm for use while he is away. Another example is men who frequently travel for work while trying to conceive. The male can freeze sperm for use while the female partner remains local and goes through treatment.
Before I had chemo I worked with all the doctors in the office and was able to successfully harvest 16 mature eggs and 1 immature eggs. And they were able to freeze them for a couple of years and this year I had an embryo implanted with the guidance of the doctors and helpful staff. They were encouraging throughout and happy to assist me get through the process through all my ups and downs.
– N.M. from Knightdale, NC
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