Women's Health

The Next Level of Ovarian Cancer Care

More about infertility preservation options

G. Wright Bates Jr, MD, director of UAB’s Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, tells us that “Sperm production may recover, but egg loss is permanent, and premature menopause may occur”.

From UAB Medicine News we learn of UAB’s fertility preservation options available for women:

  • IVF and embryo freezing: This type of fertility preservation is the most established and successful. However, it requires time, expense, and sperm availability, and delays cancer treatment. "There also are concerns that the tumor may be responsive to the hormones used to induce ovarian hyperstimulation," Dr. Bates says.
  • Ovarian cryopreservation: For women who cannot undergo the hormonal treatments required for IVF or do not have time to undergo an IVF cycle, this investigational treatment involves retrieval of ovarian tissue, which is frozen and stored. The tissue is implanted in the remaining ovary once cancer treatment is completed, with the hope of restoring normal hormonal production and fertility.
  • Cryopreservation of unfertilized oocytes: This experimental technique requires ovarian stimulation but does not require sperm. Unfertilized eggs are retrieved and frozen with the hope of later success with IVF. Immature eggs also can be retrieved without stimulation; however, maturation of these eggs in the lab is highly experimental.