There is so much to think about when a young person is diagnosed with cancer. Preserving fertility for the future may not be the first consideration but it is important to be aware that some cancer treatments can cause infertility. If you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, it is good to know that there are a number of options available to help preserve your fertility into the future.

Chemotherapy And Radiotherapy
Some types of cancer treatment will have no effect on fertility; others may. Chemotherapy can bring on early menopause, stopping the ovarian function and the menstrual cycle. It can also reduce oestrogen levels. Radiotherapy may disrupt the reproductive hormone system, which can cause ovarian failure. It may also reduce uterus’ capacity to hold a pregnancy to full term.

It’s important to remember, that all of these effects are dose and frequency dependent. We suggest that women should discuss potential fertility issues with their oncologist and consider preserving at Rotunda IVF with the National Oncology Cryopreservation Centre. As the National Gamete Cryopreservation Centre, Rotunda IVF’s highly skilled and experienced team also provides fertility preservation for suitable oncology patients, prior to them receiving cancer treatments.

Egg Freezing
Of course, curing any illness should be the first priority and the patient’s oncologist will advise on the timing of a course of treatment. The timeline for an oncology patient is often critical and fast. If you are undergoing cancer treatment, it is vital that you speak to your oncologist and a fertility specialist as soon as possible. It is important to move quickly into stimulation of the ovaries and to remove the eggs before treatment begins. The egg freezing process can only be carried out at certain stages of the menstrual cycle.

The eggs can be stored for up to 10 years in our laboratory. Once the patient is declared cancer free, she can undergo fertility treatment within that time frame. At the Rotunda Hospital, we have been working with oncology patients to provide fertility preservation since 1997. We deal with all of the main oncology centers in Ireland and so we understand the critical nature of cancer treatment. We are ready to work with you to tight time-lines to ensure that you get the opportunity to preserve your fertility. Egg freezing for oncology patients is a service that is provided free of charge by Rotunda IVF.

Sperm Freezing
When a cancer diagnosis is made, the potential effect on fertility depends on the type of treatment recommended. There are treatments that will have no effect on fertility while others can affect the sperm production in the testes and ejaculation. It’s reassuring to remember, that most of these effects are dose and frequency dependent, and in many cases the effects are temporary. Men in their reproductive years should discuss fertility with their oncologist and consider sperm banking at Rotunda IVF with the National Oncology Cryopreservation Program.