A cancer disease often necessitates the aggressive radio- or chemotherapy. Although such type of treatment gives the patients the chance to regain health, it is not without consequences for their fertility. This issue is not always mentioned in the discussions with patients facing the life-threatening disease; meanwhile, taking appropriate measures in advance may have enormous significance in their future life. Securing fertility in cancer patients, professionally known as oncofertility, is possible both for women and men. The available methods are described by Joanna Liss PhD, MD Head of In Vitro Laboratory.

In the case of women, the simplest method of fertility preservation is the collection and cryopreservation of oocytes. Another solution is freezing the ovarian tissue and its re-implantation to the already cured patient. Such method gives women the chance to restore both the fertility and hormonal functions.

Male patients – prior to the initiation of the planned cancer therapy – should deposit their semen (have it frozen) in a special bank. After they have been cured, this semen may be used in insemination procedure or in the in vitro programme.

Where the patient is in a stable relationship and plans to have children in the future, he or she should consider the implementation of a part of the in vitro programme and freezing embryos already before starting the therapy.

The conducted studies have proved that the awareness of the potential to have babies after recovery improves chances of successful treatment in the cancer patients.