Oncofertility: Fertility Preservation by Freezing Eggs at Michigan Egg Bank
Today, many women and men who survive cancer can expect to live normal and productive lives. For some, returning to a “normal” life includes having children. However, cancer treatment can potentially cause infertility or problems with reproductive organs due to the effects of medical, radiologic or surgical treatments used to successfully treat the cancer.
In 2007, a new medical discipline called Oncofertility was created, bridging basic science, medical research, oncologists and fertility specialists, with the goal of providing real options to young people who survive life-preserving, but fertility-threatening, treatments for cancer.
Michigan Reproductive Medicine has been a pioneer and, today, remains a leader in the treatment, services and programs offered to women and men who have become infertile due to the effects and treatment of cancer. Dr. Mersol-Barg is a recognized leader in egg banking. His work led to founding the Michigan Egg Bank in 2009, the first baby ever born in Michigan from a frozen egg in 2010, and establishing the Michigan Oncofertility Society in 2013. Michigan Reproductive Medicine, as a member of the National Oncofertility Consortium and its clinical branch, the National Physician’s Cooperative, is a regional magnet center assisting women and men to have children by preserving their fertility if possible.
Some of the more common services or procedures used to treat cancer-related infertility are:
- Fertility Counseling
Patients will meet with our MRM Oncofertility team to discuss their current condition regarding cancer, family planning, potential treatment options and concerns.
- Cryopreservation of Sperm
The evaluation and storage of sperm is an option for men recently diagnosed with cancer. Men who need medical or surgical treatments for cancer, which may result in compromised sperm production and infertility, may choose this option before beginning treatment.
- Cryopreservation of Eggs
Storage of frozen eggs may be an option for women without a committed male partner who wish to have biological children in the future. Women who need cancer treatment may choose this option before beginning cancer treatment.
- Cryopreservation of Embryos
The storage of frozen embryos may be an option for women with a committed male partner who wish to have biological children in the future. Women who need cancer treatment may choose this option before beginning cancer treatment.
- Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation
This is an experimental option that is offered by a select few centers within the National Oncofertility Consortium to patients facing cancer therapies.
- Donor Sperm and Donor Eggs
Donor sperm can be chosen from a sperm bank for men who want to have a child with their partner, but cannot produce their own sperm after cancer treatment. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the treatment.
Donor eggs can be chosen for women who want to have a child with their partner, but have no eggs remaining. Donor Egg In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the treatment.
During the Initial Oncofertility Consultation
- Patients have ample opportunity to discuss their options and concerns regarding the effects of the cancer treatment and the treatments available for the preservation of their eggs or sperm.
- Patients and their families are given an explanation about the process and procedures involved with various treatments and are requested to sign consent and instructions forms.
- In addition, a financial counselor is available onsite to discuss the cost of fertility preservation treatment.
Please make an appointment with our fertility experts to discover and consider the best fertility preservation options available. As the time frame before cancer treatment starts may be limited, every attempt will be made to schedule an appointment for you to meet with our Oncofertility team within a few days of your request.