At Pacific NW Fertility, we are committed to offering fertility preservation options for cancer patients.
Egg Freezing, or “oocyte cryopreservation” is now available at Pacific NW Fertility as an option for fertility preservation. It is most commonly offered and thought of for patients with a cancer diagnosis who are considering freezing eggs before chemotherapy or radiation, however, egg freezing is now offered as an elective procedure for qualifying patients. Please read more in this link about elective egg freezing: Egg Freezing.
For cancer patients, a cancer diagnosis itself is devastating, but due to the vast advances made in the fields of oncology, diagnoses are made much earlier and treatments are becoming more and more successful – ultimately leading to increased survival rates. It is, therefore, important to consider fertility as an important factor for patients who have been diagnosed with cancer and other serious chronic conditions and diseases.
Cancer treatments may compromise your ovarian function and/or permanently damage ovarian tissue. Women who survive cancer now have hope of achieving a pregnancy by saving some of their own eggs. It is important that egg retrieval and freezing happens prior to chemo or radiation therapies.
However, if treatment cannot be delayed, there are still options available to attempt to preserve your fertility, including ovarian shielding or transposition (shielding ovaries from direct radiation or surgically moving the ovaries out of the way). Additional treatments include ovarian suppression (i.e. “turning off” the stimulation that activates the ovaries, and allowing them to stay in a resting state, thus protecting them from the effects of chemotherapy).
If your cancer treatment has been completed and direct steps were not previously taken to preserve fertility, there are still options including the use of donor eggs (if your body no longer produces viable eggs, but your uterus is still healthy) or utilizing gestational carriers/surrogacy.
Pacific NW Fertility is prepared to help you move through the process quickly so you can then begin your cancer treatment and recovery. We also offer financial counseling so that your care is the priority and not cost prohibitive.
To expedite your care, please contact Jane Perkins, ARNP or Fran Butler, RN at 206-515-0000.
You can obtain further information about fertility and cancer at Fertile Hope, www.fertilehope.org.
Several fertility preservation options are available to men who are diagnosed with certain types of cancer. This includes sperm banking (i.e. freezing/cryopreservation) or testicular tissue freezing, in which a small amount of tissue from a man’s testicles (including the cells that produce sperm) is surgically removed, frozen, analyzed, and stored for future use.
Sperm cryopreservation (freezing) may be done for several reasons: cancer patients preparing to undergo radiation or chemotherapy, which potentially destroy sperm production, patients who are electing to have a vasectomy but wish to have sperm stored, and patients who are expecting to be unavailable at the time of insemination and wish to store sperm for their partner’s use.
Please contact the Andrology Lab at 206-515-0002 for more information.