What is OncoFertility?
- Oncofertility is a subfield that research to explore and expand options for the reproductive future of cancer survivors.
- Oncofertility bridges oncology and reproductive medicine that works to expand the fertility potential of young people with cancer.
- Oncofertility was developed to provide cancer patients with the option to take fertility preservation steps prior to and after cancer-curing treatments have taken place.
Fertility Options for Men
Established fertility preservation options for men include sperm banking, in which a semen sample is produced, frozen, and stored for future use, and testicular sperm extraction, during which sperm is retrieved directly from the testes through a short surgical procedure and frozen.
Also known as Semen Cryopreservation and Semen storage. Sperm Banking refers to the collection and storage of semen, that a cancer patient can do prior of his chemotherapy or cancer treatment.
Testicular Tissue cryopreservation:
Testicular tissue cryopreservation is an option for prepubertal patients who are not producing sperm and therefore are unable to preserve a semen sample.
Fertility Options for Women
Options for women to have children after cancer has increased significantly in recent years. Women should be counseled on established options such as embryo banking in which hormonal stimulation causes the production of multiple eggs, which are removed, fertilized by sperm, and frozen for future use, and egg banking in which hormonal stimulation causes the production of multiple eggs, which are removed and frozen for storage and future use.
Egg retrieval is the process of removing eggs from the ovaries. Stimulation drugs are given prior to the retrieval which helps in the development of eggs.
Eggs are retrieved from the ovaries and further, they are stored as unfertilized (egg freezing) for future use. The freezing option is both for single women and couples.
Ovarian Tissue Freezing:
The ovarian tissue is brought to a special laboratory to be processed. The outer layer of the ovary, which holds the eggs, will be removed, cut into small pieces, and frozen. A small amount of the tissue will be used for research to find the best way to help women have children using ovarian tissue. The rest of the tissue will be stored for your personal use.
FERTILITY OPTIONS FOR COUPLES
Embryo cryopreservation is an established technique that has been proven to be safe and effective in couples undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). This process is basically for couples (if anyone of them undergoing chemotherapy/radiation treatment) where the stimulation injection is given to the female, which helps in the development of eggs, eggs are retrieved and fertilized with the sperm, further the fertilized egg i.e., the embryo is then stored and preserved for the future use.