Protect your fertility before
Cancer Treatment with Oncofertility in Indiana
A cancer diagnosis or other serious illness doesn’t have to mean the end of your fertility journey. Together, we can maximize your future fertility potential for when the time is right.
Helping Cancer Patients Achieve Fertility Goals
Cancer treatment has come a long way in recent years – now there are more ways than ever to fight back when you get a diagnosis. However, every new advance comes with questions about how it will impact fertility, in both men and women. Talk to experts at Indiana Fertility Institute about designing a solution that balances your treatment needs with your fertility goals.
The Oncofertility Advantage
Oncofertility preservation offers numerous benefits to patients undergoing cancer treatments, including surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. It can also help patients facing other serious medical procedures, such as stem cell or bone marrow transplants, as well as treatments for various autoimmune diseases. Benefits include:
- Protect your fertility
- Have children on your own timeline
- Liberate yourself from the biological clock
- Screen embryos for genetic irregularities
What is Oncofertility?
Oncofertility is a burgeoning field of medical study focused on the fertility care needs of cancer patients. The term was coined in 2006 by a reproductive endocrinology researcher named Teresa Woodruff, who went on to found the Oncofertility Consortium one year later.
At Indiana Fertility Institute, we work with each patient on an individual basis, getting to know your exact situation, and designing a treatment plan that works best for you. Be sure to share your fertility concerns with your physician prior to starting cancer treatment. Starting that conversation early will maximize your future fertility options.
Ways to Preserve Fertility Before Cancer Treatment
Oncofertility treatments involve safely storing sperm, eggs, or embryos before you begin treatment for cancer. After your treatment is complete, and you’re fully recovered, the preserved sperm, eggs, or embryos are ready for use.
Sperm freezing, also known as sperm banking, takes place prior to cancer treatment. In most cases, semen samples are produced privately by the patient in our medical office. For patients who have some form of testicular dysfunction or obstruction that prevents them from producing sperm, surgical sperm retrieval is a possible treatment procedure. After assessment and processing, sperm samples are cryopreserved and stored at our laboratory, where they can be retrieved for future intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
For qualifying patients, Indiana Fertility Institute offers discounted services and donated medications as part of the Sharing Hope Program. The program was created by the LIVESTRONG Foundation to give educational, moral, and financial assistance to patients.
Egg freezing, also known as egg banking, is among the more cutting-edge innovations in oncofertility. The process requires approximately two weeks to complete and has produced more than 2,000 births globally. Egg freezing works by retrieving eggs and cryopreserving them using a flash-freezing technique known as vitrification. They are stored in liquid nitrogen in a specialized storage laboratory and are kept frozen until you are ready to use them.
One of the many advantages of this innovative technology is that women can freeze and store their eggs without needing a significant other or sperm source immediately. As with each of these options, it’s important to work closely with your physician during each step of the process.
Embryo freezing, also referred to as embryo banking, involves extracting and inseminating a woman’s eggs with sperm in a laboratory, resulting in an embryo. The embryo is then frozen through vitrification and can be used later on in an IVF cycle.
Once you’ve recovered from treatment and are healthy enough to become pregnant again, the embryo can be thawed and transferred into your uterus. Again, continual collaboration with your oncology care team is vital.
Learn More About Our Oncofertility Program
Your fertility journey is personal, and so is our care. Talk with one of our fertility specialists today about how we can create a plan to make your fertility goals a reality.