Fertility Preservation & Oncofertility2020-07-06T14:29:01+10:00

Fertility Preservation

Fertility Preservation

Including Oncofertility (Cancer Patients) & Freezing

Sperm and embryo freezing (Cryostorage) /FET

Sperm and surplus embryos can be frozen and stored for use in future treatment cycles.

Talk to us about ways we can help to preserve your future fertility.

Examples of storage and preservation

  • Oncofertility for cancer patients (see below)
  • Sperm freezing and storage can performed as a back up to using fresh sperm, such as when a husband’s work commitments prevent him from being available to provide a fresh sample.
    It also a useful backup technique for husbands who may find it difficult to produce a sample on the day of egg pick-up.
  • After a stimulated ART cycle there may be surplus embryos. These can be cryopreserved and stored for use in a future cycle.

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Fertility Preservation for Cancer Patients

Oncofertility is a term used to define the medical field that links the specialities of Oncology and Reproductive Health. At Coastal IVF we have consulted with local specialists to explore and expand the options for the reproductive future of patients going through cancer treatment.

Certain cancers and their treatments (e.g. Chemotherapy) have the potential to severely impair the function of the reproductive organs and to cause a complication of long term infertility. If you are in the reproductive age group, with a recently diagnosed cancer, there are procedures available here on the Sunshine Coast to help protect your fertility options for the years following treatment. These procedures have been designed to ensure they will not compromise your oncology management/ treatment.

We have listed some common questions below:

1) Will fertility preservation delay my cancer treatment?

There have been a few overseas studies about this. These studies demonstrate that fertility preservation does not cause a significant time delay, and more importantly the time involved has no recognised impact upon mortality or recurrence rate for cancer patients. The average time delay (of fertility preservation) reported prior to commencing oncology treatment is approxiamtely 14 days.


2) Will fertility preservation affect my prognosis?

Although numbers are not high, studies have indicated that the present method of fertility preservation have no observable differences which were clinically relevant in terms of recurrence rates of mortality.

The general acceptance is that fertility preservation should not alter long term prognosis for cancer patient survivors.

3) What are the chances of future fertility with/without fertility preservation?

While types of fertility treatment have significant differences in the effects on reproductive potential, most studies suggest that following chemotherapy, around 40% of female cancer survivors will develop treatment induced ovarian failure and therefore face infertility.

While fertility preservation is not a guarantee of a favourable outcome in the future, modern IVF pregnancy rates are high from a single IVF cycle – therefore significantly improving your chances of a future fertility option if fertility preservation with oocyte or embryo preservation is implemented.


4) Are there methods which can be implemented to reduce the impact upon my cancer treatment?

There are a number of modifications of standard IVF procedures which allow for immediate or very early start of an IVF cycle, thus significantly shortening the time interval for fertility preservation. Secondly, there are a number of drugs or modifications of IVF programs which protect you from any theoretical adverse risks of fertility preservation (eg. high oestradiol levels). The specifics of treatment will be individualised and will be discussed with you.

What to do next?

Contact our Practice Manager on (07) 5443 4301 or Make An Appointment

For Females

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.

For Males

If you are a male, it may be suitable for you to store sperm for use in the future. Sperm counts can vary widely between men and also at different times for an individual. It is likely that more than one semen sample will be needed to be stored to ensure options in the future.

How to arrange this?

Speak to your treating doctor, and if he/she agrees, phone or contact us on (07) 54434301 or Make An Appointment

When to arrange this?

As soon as possible as there is limited time available before you start surgical or medical treatment for the cancer.

What will you require?

A referral from your treating doctors your surgeons/oncologist or GP; an urgent appointment at Coastal IVF Maroochydore, usually the day after you make contact.

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.

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