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ASRM to Oncologists: Fertility Preservation Referrals Needed

The conversation many cancer doctors overlook

Research presented at the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) reminds us that fertility preservation via egg freezing, while crucial to the cancer patient’s reproductive future, is still infrequently recommended by oncologists.

ASRM: Egg Freezing No Longer Experimental

Frozen egg IVF cycles yield comparable success rates to fresh IVF cycles

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has announced that egg freezing is now a first line fertility treatment, as its former experimental treatment title has been lifted. Recent findings show that frozen eggs are yielding successful pregnancies and healthy babies comparable to in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles using fresh eggs.

Egg Freezing No Longer Considered Experimental

Success rates with frozen eggs comparable to fresh eggs

The ASRM (American Society of Reproductive Medicine) has lifted its designation of egg freezing as experimental. “Oocyte cropreservation is an exciting and improving technology, and should no longer be considered experimental. Pregnancy rates and health outcomes of the resulting children are now comparable to those of IVF with fresh eggs,” said Eric Widra, MD, Chair of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) Practice Committee.

Life after Cancer and Preserving Fertility for the Future

Preserving Fertility

It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and as awareness is raised of early detection and treatment, another aspect of cancer treatment is in the forefront for the fertility community: fertility preservation.

“In the past, the only goal of cancer therapy was survival,” says Mitchell Rosen, M.D., Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, and Director of the UCSF Fertility Preservation Center. “However, as survival in patients of reproductive age has improved, the medical community increasingly has taken an interest in life after cancer, in particular paying attention to treatment-related infertility and reproductive health.”

Women are often not made aware of the impact cancer treatment may have on their fertility; however advocates such as Alice Crisci, founder of Fertile Action, a non-profit organization that works to ensure fertile women touched by disease have the option of preserving their fertility, are trying to change that.

Mouse Study Finds New Way to Protect Female Fertility

mouse study on fertility preservation

A study of mice by Australian researchers offers hope to women with premature menopause or whose fertility has been compromised by cancer treatment. Current options for fertility preservation include egg freezing, embryo freezing and transplanting ovarian tissues.

What is Egg Freezing for Fertility Preservation?

Egg freezing is a form of fertility preservation, available to women who are approaching their mid-thirties and are not yet ready to have a baby. Dr. Nicole Noyes, with NYU Fertility Center, explains.

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How Long Can a Woman's Eggs Be Frozen?

Dr. Jamie Grifo, Program Director of the NYU Fertility Center and Director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology, NYU School of Medicine, explains when a woman's eggs are kept frozen in optimal conditions, they can be frozen for several years.

Video Transcript

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The Possibility of Infertility Looms for Cancer Patient

The Miami Herald,  July 25, 2012

Miami Herald staff writer Andrea Torres chronicles her breast cancer experiences in Tropical Life. Doctors have highly recommended that she have a hysterectomy, surgery to remove the uterus, and a prophylactic oophorectomy, removal of my ovaries. Both would be a preemptive move against uterine and ovarian cancer, which can develop after breast cancer.

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Ovarian Transplants May Preserve Fertility in Young Cancer Survivors

Philadelphia Inquirer,  July 7, 2012

Ovarian grafts — frozen ovarian tissue that is thawed and transplanted back into a woman's body -- can help cancer survivors preserve their fertility, according to a small, new study. Researchers from the University of Kansas Medical Center found that the grafts can produce hormones for more than seven years, a much longer lifespan than expected.

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Women Could Delay Menopause Indefinitely with Ovary Transplant: Doctors

The Telegraph,  July 4, 2012

A technique to remove pieces of ovary, store it for decades and then replace it with delicate surgery could effectively put a woman's menopause 'on ice', doctors said. A conference heard how 28 babies have been born worldwide to patients who either had their own ovarian tissue removed before treatment that would have left them infertile and replaced afterwards or twins where one donated tissue to the other.

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