Reproductive Needs for the Cancer Patient
Today, many patients who survive cancer can expect to live normal and productive lives. For some, returning to a "normal" life includes having children. However, cancer treatment can potentially cause infertility or problems with reproductive organs due to the effects of medical, radiologic or surgical treatments used to combat the cancer.
Penn Fertility Care has been a pioneer and today remains a leader in the treatment, services and programs offered to patients who have become infertile due to the effects of cancer.
Some of the more common services or procedures used to treat cancer-related infertility are:
- Fertility Counseling — patients will meet with a physician to discuss their current cancer condition or status, potential treatment options and concerns.
- Cryopreservation of Sperm — the evaluation and storage of sperm. This procedure is beneficial for men who have been diagnosed with cancer before undergoing medical or surgical treatments, which result in compromised sperm production and infertility.
- Cryopreservation of Embryos — the storage of frozen embryos. Women who need cancer treatment may choose this option before beginning cancer treatment.
- Donor Sperm and Donor Eggs — Donor sperm can be used for patients pursuing either intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization once their cancer treatment is complete. Donor eggs can be used for women once their cancer treatment is complete and it is safe to achieve pregnancy.
Penn Fertility Care has ongoing programs to counsel and advise patients regarding their specific hormonal needs. Efforts to provide ovarian or egg preservation are under research protocols.
During the initial consultation with a Penn Fertility Care physician, patients have ample opportunity to discuss their options and concerns regarding the effects of the cancer and the treatments available for the preservation of their sperm or reproductive organs. In general, it is possible to schedule sperm analysis and freezing the same day of the consultation.
Patients and their families are given an explanation about the process and procedures of various treatments and are requested to sign a permission and instructions form. In addition, a Financial Counselor is onsite to discuss the cost for consultation and treatment.
Patients can schedule a consultation with a Penn Fertility Care physician by calling 1-800-789-PENN (7366). Since the timeframe before cancer treatment starts can be limited, therefore, every attempt will be made to schedule cancer patients in a priority method.
Need an appointment? Request one online 24 hours/day, 7 days/week or call 800-789-PENN (7366) to speak to a referral counselor.