If you are female you should talk to your surgeon/oncologist/radiotherapist about options for fertility preservation which may be considered appropriate to your care.

Different options are suitable in certain circumstances. These include:

ii) Medications/Procedures/Shielding of the ovaries which help to protect your eggs from the risk of oncology treatment. E.g. surgical repositioning or shielding of the ovaries during radiotherapy.

ii) An IVF Procedure to recruit, retrieve and freeze, in liquid nitrogen, eggs (oocytes) for use in future management to achieve a pregnancy. This involves hormonal treatment to stimulate egg production. Collected eggs can then be cryo-preserved and stored indefinitely for use at a later time. Alternatively, the eggs can be immediately fertilized by a partner’s sperm to produce embryos which can then be frozen for the opportunity for later use to conceive.

iii) Special procedures where segments of the ovary can be surgically removed, treated and frozen (Before the oncology treatment commences). These tissues can be used later to transplant back to you to restore ovarian function at a later date. This highly specialised treatment is only suitable in selective cases and is accessed through a specific program which is co-ordinated through Coastal IVF Maroochydore.

A number of pathways have been established by the doctors on the Sunshine Coast – between surgeons, oncologists, radiotherapists and our fertility program to facilitate these processes. There are management plans which will:

A) Minimise or avoid any delay in oncology treatment and;

B) Minimise the effect of any of the above treatments on the beneficial effects of oncology management.

Discuss any of your concerns with you specialist (surgeon, oncologist or radiologist) who can then refer you immediately to Dr Paul Stokes at Coastal IVF to plan your fertility management.

It is important to make contact early and express your interest so that appropriate medical counselling can be provided at the earliest opportunity. This will give you the opportunity to consider all options and then to expedite the appropriate investigations or treatment plans without interrupting or delaying your cancer management.

For further specific information or to express your interest/find out your next step, you can contact Stephanie Brown directly at Coastal IVF on (07) 5443 4301 or by email to steph@coastalivf.com.au