An Opportunity for the Future
Fertility preservation is the general term used to describe treatment options that give patients an opportunity to possibly have child at a later time. It is useful when patients are faced with the risk of losing their fertility.
Common reasons why people may choose to consider fertility preservation:
- Reason 1: You’ll be undergoing chemotherapy
- Reason 2: You’ll be undergoing radiation
- Reason 3: You’re facing surgery
- Reason 4: You have a genetic condition that may decrease fertility
It’s important to note that fertility preservation can be completed in a short period of time, which allows patients to continue to move forward with treatment for cancer or other conditions.
Treatments available for fertility preservation include:
- Embryo freezing
- Egg freezing
- Ovarian tissue cryopreservation (freezing)
- Hormone therapy
- Sperm banking
- Testicular sperm extraction (TESE)
- Testicular tissue cryopreservation (freezing)
Choosing a Fertility Preservation Method
Each patient and circumstance is unique. Depending on sex, age and medical condition, as well as timing to start treatments, there may be one or more than one reasonable option. If you are considering fertility preservation, make an appointment with a fertility specialist. Your specialist can review your situation, discuss your options and work with you to make the best decision.
To learn more about your options, visit fertility.nm.org.
– Mary Ellen G. Pavone, MD, IVF medical director, Northwestern Medicine Fertility and Reproductive Medicine