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Fertility After Cancer

Fertility After Cancer

For women coming to terms with a cancer diagnosis, our Family Fertility Preservation program offers the very latest advancements in fertility preservation to help ensure the best chances of pregnancy once cancer treatment is complete.

Collaborating to find fertility solutions

Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, Baylor College of Medicine and M.D. Anderson have joined forces to help cancer patients better understand how radiation and chemotherapy affects fertility.


Our fertility preservation options:

Egg cryopreservation (freezing)

Egg freezing is an option if you and your oncologist are willing to delay your initial cancer treatment for four to eight weeks. Or the oncologist may choose to begin cancer treatment and then allow specialists to perform the procedure between your subsequent treatments.

During this procedure, our specialists would use drugs that would induce your ovaries to mature and release multiple eggs. The recovered eggs would then be frozen before being fertilized. After the cancer is in remission, our specialists would thaw and fertilize the eggs.


Sperm cryopreservation (freezing)

Sperm freezing is a service offered by our Andrology lab within the Family Fertility Center. This may be scheduled by calling 832-826-7500 to schedule an appointment with the Family Fertility Center.


Egg donation

Many women may benefit from this technique, including those who experience ovarian failure caused by cancer treatment. Speak to your oncologist for more information, or call 832-826-7500 to schedule an appointment with the Family Fertility Center.


Embryo cryopreservation

Embryo cryopreservation offers an excellent option for preserving fertility in cases where the initial cancer treatment can be delayed four to eight weeks. After the procedure is performed and the frozen embryos are thawed, they can be transferred back to the woman's uterus once her oncologist determines her cancer therapy is complete.


IVF

Before starting cancer treatment, specialists can freeze your embryos using a combination of IVF and embryo cryopreservation. With this treatment, specialists would use drugs to induce your ovaries to mature and release multiple eggs. Our specialists would fertilize these eggs in vitro using sperm from your partner or a donor. The embryos that form are frozen three to five days after fertilization, and then thawed and transferred back into your uterus when your cancer therapy is complete, your cancer is in remission and you're healthy enough to experience childbirth.

Depending on your age and medical circumstances at the time the embryos are frozen, the likelihood of pregnancy can be quite high, even many years later. Many cancer physicians would be willing to postpone your chemotherapy or radiation treatment for the four to eight weeks it takes to perform this procedure.


Ovarian tissue freezing

Ovarian tissue freezing, or ovarian tissue banking, is a suitable treatment if you are younger (typically under age 30) or in cases where you cannot wait the four to eight weeks required to perform in vitro fertilization. During this procedure, specialists would surgically remove ovarian tissue, cut the tissue into very thin slices, then cryopreserve it. The procedure would take place just before your radiation or chemotherapy treatment. Once your cancer is in remission, the ovarian tissue slices would be placed either into or adjacent to your ovaries, or in a remote area of the body where eggs could later be removed and fertilized in vitro.