Cancer Fertility Preservation
Reproductive Options When Facing Cancer
Cancer is diagnosed in more than 140,000 individuals under the age of 45 each year. When faced with a life-threatening illness, preserving fertility or becoming a parent may be one of the last things on your mind. However, treatments for young adults with cancer are now more successful than ever before. As a result, an ever-growing number of cancer survivors are now able to focus their energy on starting or expanding their families. Unfortunately, many of the treatments that help fight cancer also affect the ability to have children.
Over the past several years, important and exciting strides have been made in the field of fertility preservation. There are now ways to protect your fertility before initiating cancer treatments for both men and women. Strong Fertility Center works with your oncologist to offer counseling, fertility prognosis, and fertility preservation options that consider your individual circumstances before and after therapy.
If you have already had treatment and are considering starting a family, Strong Fertility Center will work with you to achieve your goals. Depending on your individual circumstances, varying degrees of testing and treatment may be necessary. Natural conception may be possible if you remain fertile after your treatments. Alternatively, your treatments may cause diminished ovarian reserve or testicular dysfunction that can be overcome with various fertility treatments. In other cases, ovarian or testicular failure may result; such conditions can be temporary or permanent, but successful pregnancy can be achieved through the use of donor eggs, sperm, or embryos.
Our aim at Strong Fertility Center is to provide the knowledge and expertise necessary for you to make the best decisions to defeat your cancer and achieve your personal fertility goals. If you're a woman of childbearing age or a man who is concerned about his future ability to become a father, our services will allow you to approach and recover from your illness with the satisfaction that you have addressed this important aspect of your life, and will help you to realize your fertility goals following your treatments.
Fertility Preservation and Treatment Options
For Men and Women
- Testing your fertility: Certain blood tests, imaging studies, and a semen analysis (for men) can be used to assess your fertility potential.
- Evaluation and counseling: Meet with our experts before and after treatments to discuss personalized fertility goals and prognosis based on individual characteristics such as age, cancer diagnosis, and cancer treatment regimen.
- Embryo freezing: Eggs are matured with the use of injectable hormones, removed, fertilized in-vitro (outside the body) with sperm, frozen, and stored.
- Egg freezing: Eggs are matured with the use of injectable hormones, removed, frozen, and stored without being fertilized.
- Ovarian suppression: Medications administered during cancer treatment to protect the ovaries and reduce the risk of infertility.
- Ovarian transposition: Surgically displacing the ovaries prior to radiation therapy to minimize damage.
- Ovulation induction and assisted reproductive technologies: Eggs are matured with the use of oral or injectable medications, and then fertilized in the body or removed and fertilized outside the body (in-vitro) with sperm; resulting embryos are then transferred to the patient or frozen and stored.
- Egg donation: Eggs from a comprehensively screened donor are matured, removed, and fertilized using sperm outside the body; resulting embryos are then transferred to the patient who will carry the pregnancy.
- Sperm banking: Semen is collected, frozen, and stored.
- Percutaneous sperm aspiration (PESA): Sperm are obtained through a needle aspiration of the epididymis, or storage area, outside the testis.
- Testicular sperm extraction: Testicular tissue is obtained through an open biopsy and sperm cells are isolated, frozen, and stored.
- Testicular tissue freezing: Testicular tissue, including the cells that produce sperm, is removed, frozen, and stored.
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI): Use of a small catheter to place concentrated sperm within the uterus of the female partner can be used to overcome slightly diminished semen quantity or quality.
- Assisted reproductive technologies: In-vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can be used to fertilize eggs that are matured and removed from your partner, using even just a few sperm.
- Donor sperm: Sperm from a comprehensively screened donor can be used for insemination or assisted reproductive technologies.
Most insurance providers do not cover the costs of fertility preservation therapies, although many cover the cost of consultation with a fertility specialist to discuss prognosis and options. The individual costs of services will vary, but Strong Fertility Center has discounted our services to help make them accessible to more patients, and will work with each individual to help minimize the overall costs of treatment using funds raised through our C.A.R.E (Childbearing And Recovery after cancer) fundraising event. We also partner with LIVESTRONG fertility for assistance with medication costs, and Reprotech for assistance with storage costs.
Call Strong Fertility Center's main number at (585) 487-3378 and express your interest in fertility preservation schedule an expedited appointment with one of our specialists. Most visits can be arranged within 24 to 72 hours of your call. You will have a thorough consultation with one of our reproductive endocrinologists and a customized plan of care will be created in conjunction with your oncologist.