Treatments for cancer can affect fertility in a number of ways. They may destroy eggs, alter hormone levels that regulate menstruation and ovulation, or remove or damage reproductive structures.
Options to preserve fertility before treatment include:
- Embryo cryopreservation (freezing of embryos obtained by ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, and in vitro fertilization)
- Oocyte cryopreservation (freezing of unfertilized eggs obtained by ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval)
- Ovarian tissue cryopreservation (freezing of ovarian tissue obtained under anesthesia; investigational only; for prepubertal girls or females who cannot delay treatment for ovarian stimulation)
- Ovarian transposition (surgical placement of the ovaries out of the field of treatment before radiation to the pelvis)
- Ovarian suppression (use of medication to suppress ovarian function, potentially protecting eggs from effects of chemotherapy; data on effectiveness is conflicting so this is considered investigational)
The resources below can provide you with additional information on fertility preservation and family building options.
Search within each site for specific topics.