What is fertility preservation?

Certain diseases and their treatment (mainly cancer but also some other autoimmune and idiopathic conditions) are associated with a high risk of the male or female patient losing their ability to father or mother a child i.e. their fertility. Timely counselling and intervention can provide these individuals an opportunity to preserve their fertility while they undergo treatment for the above conditions.

What is onco-fertility?

Onco-fertility is a sub-specialised branch of fertility and reproductive medicine which is linked with oncology and relates to providing fertility preservation of cancer patients undergoing treatment as well as subsequent counselling and follow-up for survivors.

Besides cancer, for what other disease is fertility preservation offered?

  1. Premature ovarian failure
  2. Autoimmune diseases like Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Rheumatoid Arthritis
  3. Fragile X Syndrome

How can fertility preservation in females be achieved?

Standard options include

  1. Embryo freezing - Harvesting eggs, in vitro fertilization and freezing of embryos for later implantation
  2. Egg freezing (also known as oocyte vitrfication) Harvesting and freezing of unfertilised eggs
  3. Radiation Shielding of Gonads- Use of shielding to reduce scatter radiation to the reproductive organs
  4. Ovarian Transposition Surgical repositioning of the ovaries away from the radiation field.

Experimental on non-standard options include

  1. Ovarian Tissue Freezing - Freezing of ovarian tissue and reimplantation after cancer treatment
  2. Ovarian Suppression - Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH) Analogues or Antagonists used to suppress ovaries

How can fertility preservation in males be achieved?

Standard options include

Sperm Banking (Masturbation) - Sperm is obtained through masturbation, then frozen

Sperm Banking (Alternative Collection Methods) Sperm obtained through testicular extraction or electroejaculation under sedation

Radiation Shielding of Gonads - Use of shielding to reduce the dose of radiation delivered to the testes

Testicular Sperm Extraction - Use of biopsy to obtain individual sperm from testicular tissue

Experimental on non-standard options include

Testicular Tissue Freezing Tissue obtained through biopsy and stored for future use