If you have a severe illness for which therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation or surgery can be life-saving - but which can significantly disrupt fertility - a decision on which measures to take in order to maintain fertility should be made before beginning treatment.
Not all treatments for cancer lead to reduced fertility. Before beginning treatment, consult our specialized team of physicians regarding the extent to which your cancer treatment may affect fertility and how wanting a child can be taken into consideration in the selection of therapy. Under normal circumstances there is sufficient time before beginning treatment to make arrangements for future family planning.
Freezing fertilised eggs. This treatment method requires a waiting period of at least 2 weeks before beginning the cancer treatment. Provoked by hormonal stimulation, a large quantity of eggs mature during this time. During this simple surgical procedure, 10 to 20 mature eggs are retrieved and artificially inseminated with the partner’s sperm by means of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) or by means of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The fertilised eggs are then frozen (cryopreservation).
Freezing unfertilised eggs. Here, eggs are frozen before chemotherapy, for instance, so as to be able to have a child after recovering. The vitrification method means that between 90 and 95% of the eggs survive the thawing process.
Freezing retrieved ovarian tissue. Provided that the tissue does not contain any tumour cells, ovarian tissue can also be frozen and transplanted again once the cancer treatment has been completed.
Freezing sperm or testicular tissue. Semen cryopreservation prior to chemotherapy or other long-term planned intake of medication can make sense to maintain fertility. The sperm cells are obtained prior to the cancer treatment by means of ejaculation and frozen. The partner can then conceive using the frozen sperm at a later point in time by means of artificial insemination. The specimen can be preserved for many years and then thawed at a suitable time for artificial insemination. As an alternative, testicular tissue can also be surgically removed and frozen.
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