For those going through oncology treatment
If you might have to undergo cancer treatment with chemotherapy, this may have a detrimental impact on your eggs or sperm. We are able to freeze eggs, embryos, ovarian tissue and sperm for people who face losing their fertility because of such treatment. Talk to us urgently if you need fertility preservation at short notice prior to cancer treatment.
If a woman has a partner, it is sometimes better to freeze embryos than eggs. Embryo freezing has been around longer than egg freezing and clinics have a lot more experience with embryo freezing as it is part of routine IVF treatment. However, if there is any possibility that your relationship might break up in the future, it's better to freeze eggs and sperm separately, and not embryos.
Ovarian tissue freezing
This technique involves removing one or both ovaries surgically and freezing thin slices of ovarian tissue. The slices are transplanted back to the women once cancer treatment has finished, with the idea that they will respond to hormone stimulation as part of an IVF cycle.
Sperm freezing is straightforward and many people will have enough sperm in one ejaculate for several IVF cycles.
Options for fertility preservation may exist prior to and after cancer treatment, however it is very important that if you have time before you start your treatment, you speak with a fertility specialist - to ensure you have the full picture. Many options for fertility preservation may be funded through the public health system.
Access to publicly-funded fertility preservation for the retrieval, freezing and long-term storage of sperm is available for people whose fertility will be permanently impaired by publicly-funded treatment for medical conditions, such as by cancer treatment.
Most people facing fertility preservation won’t have enough time to make changes to lifestyle or to follow the tips for becoming ‘fertility fit’ If you do have time before egg freezing, the key messages are:
- stop smoking
- take folic acid
- reduce caffeine and alcohol
- discuss medications with your doctor
The important thing is to talk to us quickly - call your nearest clinic. Urgent appointments are available for those about to undergo cancer treatment.