Leaders in Fertility Research and Care
Timothy N. Hickman, M.D. | Laurie J. McKenzie, M.D. | Katherine K. McKnight, M.D.
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Houston Cancer Fertility Options (Oncofertility)

Being diagnosed with cancer is one of the most devastating life events a person can face. Infertility and cancer is a very real concern for patients.  While recent advances in cancer therapy have given many patients hope and have led to very high survival rates, treatments such as radiation, chemotherapy and surgery may have life-altering implications including ovarian damage and premature menopause - both of which can have significant impact on current and future fertility.
 
The decision to consider cancer fertility options (Oncofertility) in the face of fertility-threatening cancer treatment is difficult. Decisions regarding the timing of cancer treatment and disposition of the eggs or embryos, should the patient not regain the health needed to carry a pregnancy, are never easy and require the support of family and friends and the expertise of a wide range of health care specialists. Often doctors are focused on saving a patient's life and are not used to thinking about preserving a patient's fertility and incorporating fertility preservation (Oncofertility) into her or his care.

Dr. Laurie McKenzie, Director of Houston Oncofertility Preservation and Education (H.O.P.E), and staff of Houston IVF are committed to providing you the option of fertility preservation and will do so in an open and frank manner. Thanks to significant advances in reproductive medicine, there are technologies now available that can help to preserve fertility avoid infertility prior to undergoing cancer treatment.

Successful parenthood options exist for men and women before, during, and after treatment. Many of these cancer fertility treatment options are available here at Houston IVF (Please contact us for further information on any of the following fertility-preserving options).

Infertility Pre-Treatment Options:

Men

  • Sperm banking
  • Testicular sperm extraction
  • Testicular tissue freezing

Women

  • Radical trachelectomy (for cervical cancer)
  • Egg freezing
  • Embryo Freezing
  • Ovarian tissue freezing
  • Ovarian transposition
  • In vitro maturation

Infertility Options During Treatment:

Women

  • Gonadotropin agonist therapy

Infertility Post-Treatment Options:

Men

  • Testicular sperm extraction

Women

  • Assisted reproduction
  • Donor oocytes
  • Donor embryos
  • Gestational carriers

 

Houston IVF also works in conjunction with FertileHope, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing reproductive information, support and hope to cancer patients whose medical treatments present the risk of infertility. Contact FertileHope at www.fertilehope.org

Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ's

Patient Fact Sheet: Fertility Risks with Cancer Therapy

Other Resources:

American Cancer Society: Here you'll find medical information, treatment decision tools, news updates, and support resources. You can also read about survivors' experiences, find hope, and inspire others. www.cancer.org

Premature Ovarian Failure Support Group: The mission of the POFSG is to provide community, support and information to women with Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) and their loved ones; to increase public awareness and understanding of POF; and to work with health care professionals to better understand this condition. www.pofsupport.org

Cancer Hope Network: A confidential, one-on-one support to people with cancer and their families. Patients are matched with trained volunteers who have themselves undergone a similar experience. Cancer Hope Network provides support and hope, to help patients look beyond the diagnosis, cope with treatment, and start living life to its fullest once again. www.cancerhopenetwork.org

Dr. Hickman appears as a guest on Great Day Houston
Inftertility Issues - part 2