At Moffitt Cancer Center, we understand that fertility preservation is important to many of our patients. Certain cancer treatments can interfere with a person’s reproductive ability, but there’s no need to choose between raising a family and receiving life-saving care. At Moffitt, both men and women can access the latest options in cancer care while keeping their future families in mind.
When developing a patient’s treatment plan, Moffitt’s oncologists and reproductive endocrinologists will make note of any treatments that could possibly have an impact on his or her fertility. For instance, radiation therapy and chemotherapy interfere with the body’s ability to produce sperm or eggs, while surgical removal of the reproductive organs can end a person’s ability to bear children. If such a treatment is required, however, a patient can meet with Moffitt’s team to discuss fertility preservation options before beginning treatment. For example:
- A woman’s eggs can be harvested from her ovaries, fertilized with her partner’s sperm through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and then frozen for implantation at a later date. Alternatively, unfertilized eggs can also be frozen and stored.
- A woman’s ovaries can be covered with a shield during radiation therapy, or surgically repositioned to remove them from the planned radiation field. In some cases, her ovarian tissue can be surgically removed, frozen and re-implanted after treatment.
- A man’s sperm can be frozen and stored, then implanted into his partner’s uterus or used for IVF at a later date.
- A man’s testicles can be covered with a shield during radiation therapy. In some cases, testicular tissue can be surgically removed, frozen and re-implanted after treatment.
Many other options can also be discussed, such as third-party reproduction, surrogacy or adoption. We provide patients with all of the information and support they need to make the fertility preservation decision that’s best for their own unique physical, emotional and psychosocial needs.
Moffitt’s Adolescent & Young Adult Program (AYA) helps young adult patients and their families