Preserving life now and in the future
Cancer treatment saves many lives every day. But this treatment can also give rise to infertility in both men and women. Thanks to advanced reproductive technology, there are a variety of ways to preserve your fertility when undergoing treatments for cancer that can adversely affect reproduction, so it is very important to discuss and plan for your fertility preservation before cancer treatment begins.
How cancer treatments cause infertility
Patients who undergo chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy or cancer surgeries can have their fertility compromised. Some cancer treatments may damage parts of your endocrine system. Some may result in changes to or the removal of organs that are vital to fertility, such as a hysterectomy, oophorectomy, or male orchiectomy. Sperm count and motility may be adversely affected in men; women may experience changes in ovulation and the menstrual cycle, or even experience early onset menopause. Therefore, it is very important to discuss your options for fertility preservation with a reproductive endocrinologist and/or reproductive biologist prior to beginning cancer treatment.
Weighing your options
Any diagnosis of cancer is extremely stressful. And discussing your fertility options can add to the stress of the situation. But not talking about and considering your options can result in even larger emotional distress later. And it is heartening to know that there are some relatively simple procedures you can do before cancer treatment begins to preserve future fertility: in particular, sperm, egg or embryo banking known as cryobanking. If your cancer treatment includes radiation therapy that can injure your reproductive organs, you will want to speak with your oncologist about ways to protect those organs during radiation therapy and about the availability of egg, sperm, and embryo storage before your cancer treatment begins.
How cryobanking and cryofertility can help
Cryofertility is the process of freezing tissue for later use. Freezing your sperm or eggs prior to cancer treatment can preserve them for the future. In males or females whose reproductive systems have not yet matured, tissue can be taken from the testicles or ovaries and cryopreserved so that this tissue has the potential to be implanted at a later point in time. Preserving testicular and ovarian tissue is presently an area of active medical and experimental research.
Our certified cryobank is a nationally recognized reproductive tissue bank known for its high standards and extensive industry-leading screening processes. We offer short- and long-term sperm, ova, and embryo storage along with a full-service andrology lab to assure the best possible outcomes for future reproduction.