As promised, each Thursday, we will now offer you a piece of educational, science, or research related information. The purpose of our #ThursdayThoughts post is to share with you fact-based content that can enlighten and assist you on your fertility journey. Enjoy our post! Helping to Create New Beginnings….
Fertility Preservation After Cancer Diagnosis
Some patients may face an unfortunate diagnosis of cancer that may call for treatments (chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery) leading to diminished fertility. For those who have always wanted to have a biological child or children, compromised fertility is yet another burden with which they must cope in addition to the cancer diagnosis. Fortunately, in the recent years, there have been major breakthroughs in fertility-preservation treatments that can help these patients realize their dream of becoming a parent.
Egg freezing and sperm freezing remain the most common and most successful types of fertility preservation treatments. Depending on the age of the patient and their particular case, certain other therapies may be indicated. For example, ovarian transposition, or surgery used to reposition the ovaries out of the radiation field, may be available to those women who require pelvic radiation. Pre-pubertal girls or women who do not have time to undergo a traditional egg freezing procedure may qualify for ovarian tissue cryopreservation; however, this procedure remains experimental both in terms of safety and success. Women opting not to freeze eggs prior to chemotherapy may benefit from a temporary medical suppression of ovarian function while undergoing chemotherapy; these types of medications may diminish the negative impact of chemotherapy on ovarian reserve.
At the Fertility Institute of Hawaii, we offer oocyte (egg) freezing using vitrification, which is an ultra “fast freezing” technique that protects eggs from injury during the process. After initial evaluation, a patient would need to undergo the ovarian stimulation phase of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) in order to obtain and freeze the eggs. While at present most health insurances do not cover egg freezing, there are programs available to qualified patients that may help to cover or lower the cost of fertility medication and fertility preservation. For male patients, sperm freezing is offered as an option to preserve fertility. Please contact our clinic at 808-545-2800 for further information regarding your options for fertility preservation. You can also visit our website at https://www.ivfcenterhawaii.com/.