Fertility Preservation for Cancer Patients
Some surgeries and many forms of chemotherapy or radiation therapy to the pelvis may severely compromise ovarian or uterine function. In the past, there were limited options presented to cancer patients in regards to fertility preservation. Today, women have the option of freezing their eggs so that these may be fertilized and implanted at a later date. This significant step forward in fertility treatment enables women that are not yet partnered to preserve hope of having a child with a future partner.
Embryo freezing, as well as third party parenting options such as egg donation, surrogate pregnancy or adoption are still viable and attractive options for many cancer patients. For women of reproductive age who know that they may want to extend their fertility potential, egg or oocyte freezing (also called fertility preservation) provides the ability to preserve a woman's own genetic material until such time as she medically cleared and ready to start her family.
We recognize that a new diagnosis of cancer is a frightening experience and patients are grappling with all the important medical treatment decisions. Most oncologists and patients are anxious to treat the malignancy as soon as possible. Therefore, we have a special treatment protocol whenever we have a patient or oncologist call us about fertility preservation. We will arrange for an immediate appointment with one of our doctors. We will "fast track" the patient through the IVF preparation process and we can even start medications at any time in the menstrual cycle, avoiding any delays to treatment.
As with egg and embryo freezing for infertility or routine fertility preservation, there is no way to guarantee or know the outcomes. We suggest a detailed discussion with your PFC physician before choosing this option.