It might not be the first thing to come to mind after you've been diagnosed with cancer, but many cancer fighting treatments may damage the reproductive system and lead to fertility issues in the future. Gundersen Health System Fertility Center offers several preservation options for both men and women, that may provide the peace of mind you need to allow you to start or grow a family after cancer treatments.
Fertility preservation options available at Gundersen include:
Embryo banking: Multiple mature eggs are removed and fertilized through in vitro fertilization (IVF). The embryos are frozen for future use.
Egg (oocyte) banking: This procedure is still considered experimental. It is done the same way as embryo banking except the eggs aren't fertilized before freezing.
Ovarian tissue banking: One entire ovary is surgically removed. The outer surface that contains the eggs is frozen for later use. Survivors of certain cancers can have the tissue re-implanted later. The tissue cannot be transplanted with some cancers due to risk of re-seeding the original cancer.
Ovarian transposition: This surgery moves the ovaries within the pelvis so they can still function but avoid the area receiving radiation therapy. However, it doesn't protect against chemotherapy.
Ovarian shielding: The ovaries and/or uterus are shielded from radiation to minimize damage.
Trachelectomy: The uterine cervix is surgically removed. This may be an option for younger women with early cervical cancer.
Sperm banking: Sperm is collected and frozen for later use.
Testicular tissue banking: Testicular tissue, including cells that produce sperm, is surgically removed and frozen.
For more information about the fertility preservation options available at Gundersen Fertility Center, call (608) 775-2306 or (800) 362-9567, ext. 52306.