IVF Fertility Preservation

ivf fertility preservation

Fertility Preservation is a new medical field developed with the purpose of helping women, men and children overcome the complications of infertility associated with chemo and radiation therapy. The first step is to have an immediate consultation with the IVF Center’s fertility specialist to discuss and begin fertility treatments before the cancer treatment is even started. The most successful techniques include obtaining and preserving the eggs or sperm or creating embryos for couples, all for future use after the cancer treatments are completed.

For female cancer patients, the most successful option is for the patient to undergo a stimulated IVF cycle and create embryos for cryopreservation and future use. This requires the use of donor sperm or if the cancer patient has a partner, the use of the male partner's sperm. Embryos can be frozen for many years until after the cancer treatment and risk of remission stage have passed. Once the oncologist physician gives the okay, the patient can then proceed with a frozen embryo transfer cycle.

Another option is egg freezing, although not as successful as embryo freezing. The patient begins a stimulated IVF cycle and the eggs are harvested as usual, but then frozen for later use rather than fertilized with sperm from a donor or current partner.

Although the data now is limited, there seems to be no increased risk of cancer recurrence, even in breast cancer in those that become pregnant. There also appears to be no increased risk of miscarriage, birth defects or pregnancy complication. In patients that have a genetically linked cancer, there could be potential risks of inheritance, and an even more exciting future therapy may be the use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis to test embryos for the genetically linked cancers before transfer in an IVF cycle. The most important concern for any newly diagnosed cancer patient is to quickly consult with a fertility specialist to see what options may work for their unique circumstances .