Chemotherapy, or radiotherapy, often saves the lives of people with cancer. However, the loss or significant reduction of fertility can also result from such treatment.
People during and before reproductive age suffering from cancer often become healthy again, but aggressive therapy can permanently damage their reproductive functions. One way of protecting one’s fertility is to freeze a sample of one’s gametes and embryos in a special bank. Patients that recover from cancer can then use the deposited material to have children with the help of assisted reproduction techniques. Fertility preservation in cancer patients, professionally referred to as oncofertility, is possible in both women and men.
The simplest way of protecting a woman’s fertility is to collect and freeze her oocytes. Another option is to freeze a sample of her ovarian tissue and re-implant it in the cured patient. This gives the woman the opportunity to restore her fertility as well as her hormonal functions. For women preparing for cancer treatment, and planning to start a family in the future, we would recommended:
Ovarian tissue freezing. After completion of the cancer treatment, the tissue is implanted in the healthy woman (re-transplantation treatment). In this way, the patient recovers her fertility (without the use of assisted reproduction techniques), as well as her normal hormonal functions..
Before initiation of treatment, men should deposit some semen in the bank, where it is stored under appropriate conditions guaranteeing the maintenance of its genetic quality. After winning the fight against cancer, the patient can use the deposited semen to become a dad. This is the simplest way of preserving fertility in men.