Oncofertility is a subfield of medicine that lies at the intersection of oncology and reproductive care. The primary purpose of oncofertility is to preserve fertility options for cancer patients and survivors. Navigating the cancer treatment journey can be challenging and emotionally overwhelming, especially when exacerbated by concerns about fertility and future family-building possibilities. At The Reproductive Medicine Group, our oncofertility program provides you with guidance, education, and a compassionate approach to help you explore your family-building options.
Understanding Cancer and Fertility
Many life-saving cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation, and certain surgeries, can have a significant impact on both male and female fertility. For example, chemotherapy can temporarily or permanently harm fertility by damaging or destroying reproductive cells (i.e., eggs or sperm). Similarly, radiation, specifically when applied to the pelvic area or reproductive system, can cause damage to the eggs, sperm, or reproductive organs. Certain surgeries, such as the removal of reproductive organs (such as the ovaries or testes) or procedures that affect the reproductive system, can directly impact fertility.
It is important to note that not all cancer treatments result in infertility, and advancements in oncofertility have led to various options for preserving fertility before starting cancer treatment. Consulting with a reproductive specialist or a fertility preservation expert prior to starting cancer treatment is crucial to explore the available options and make informed decisions about fertility preservation.
Oncofertility Options for Women
Oncofertility offers women facing cancer the opportunity to preserve their fertility and embrace the future. The main oncofertility option for women is egg freezing, where a woman’s eggs are carefully collected and stored for later use, safeguarding them from the potentially harmful effects of cancer treatments. Another option is embryo freezing, where fertilized eggs are frozen for future use. The innovative oncofertility options make it possible for women to navigate their cancer treatment while retaining the assurance that their dreams of starting a family are still possible.
Oncofertility Options for Men
Oncofertility opens up a world of possibilities for men facing cancer, providing them with options to preserve their fertility and embrace a future that includes fatherhood. The most common oncofertility method for men is sperm freezing and banking, allowing men to store their sperm before undergoing cancer treatment. Another option is testicular sperm extraction (TESE), a surgical procedure in which sperm are surgically retrieved directly from the testicles. These advanced options allow men facing cancer to focus on their health and treatment, while safeguarding their future family-building dreams.
The Timing of Oncofertility
In oncofertility, timing plays a crucial role and involves the strategic coordination between cancer treatment and the fertility preservation procedure. Because cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can have negative impacts on reproductive organs and overall fertility, it’s essential to consider your fertility preservation options before beginning cancer treatment. The timing of oncofertility interventions depends on several factors, including the type of cancer, the patient’s age, and the prescribed treatment plan.
Advanced Oncofertility Care in Florida
The Reproductive Medicine Group has many years of experience providing oncofertility and fertility preservation options to men and women facing cancer. With fertility clinic locations in North Tampa, South Tampa, Brandon, Clearwater, and Wesley Chapel, our expert team of fertility specialists is ready to answer all your questions and provide personalized fertility care. Schedule a consultation with The Reproductive Medicine Group.