Planning for a Family After Cancer
If you’re thinking of having children or want to keep that as an option in the future, Sanford Oncofertility can help.Cancer and cancer therapies can affect fertility. Oncofertility – a combination of cancer and fertility medicine – helps you preserve fertility before cancer treatment.
Oncofertility Treatment Options
We help both men and women achieve their family planning goals. Your options include:
- Egg freezing: Some of a woman’s unfertilized eggs are harvested, frozen and stored.
- Embryo freezing: Unfertilized eggs are harvested, inseminated with sperm, grown to maturity and frozen for a frozen embryo transfer at a later time.
- In vitro maturation: Doctors harvest immature eggs. These eggs are matured in a laboratory either before or after freezing.
- Ovarian transposition: Ovarian transposition moves one or both ovaries out of the radiation treatment area. Usually, they are transferred to the wall of the abdomen and away from where the radiation will target.
- Ovarian suppression: Using medication to stop the ovaries from making estrogen. This procedure is a part of breast cancer treatment and a way to preserve fertility.
- Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD): Testing the cells of frozen embryos for genetic problems including cancer genes.
- Pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS): Testing the cells of frozen embryos to ensure they have the standard number of chromosomes.
- Sperm banking: Collecting and freezing multiple semen samples over a period of a few days.
Many people have children after cancer using these fertility methods. One woman worked with her oncologist from the beginning, and she's now celebrating the birth of her daughter. Find out which option works best for you. Talk to a reproductive endocrinology specialist as early as possible before getting cancer treatment.
What Can Affect My Fertility?
Surgery and chemotherapy often have the most impact on your fertility. But there are several factors that can determine whether cancer treatments affect your fertility, including:
- Duration of treatment
- Location of radiation
Who is Eligible for Fertility Preservation?
You can start planning for a family as soon as you’re diagnosed with cancer.
It’s best to talk to a reproductive specialist about fertility preservation options. You might consider fertility preservation if:
- You are in your reproductive stage of life and are concerned with preserving your fertility after cancer treatment
- You are in your mid- to late-30s and not sure what the future holds, but would like to keep your options open for a family
Your Oncofertility Team
Oncofertility is for anyone about to receive treatment that may be destructive to ovaries or testicles, affecting fertility.
You’ll work with experienced specialists who are part of the Oncofertility Consortium, a national group exploring survivorship and fertility. A reproductive endocrinologist at Sanford Health explains more in a Sanford Health News podcast.
You have plenty on your mind when you’re going through cancer treatment. You shouldn’t have to worry about your future family. Choose Sanford Health to help you choose the most appropriate way to protect your fertility.
Sanford Health News
Katherine Friese transformed breast cancer into an endurance sport — and won
Diana Dreyer navigated surgery, chemo, quarantine with family and Sanford Health