March 18, 2024

Understanding Your Fertility Options Before Cancer Treatment

Doctor showing fertility options

Facing a cancer diagnosis is an incredibly tough moment in anyone's life. It brings a whirlwind of emotions and a list of concerns that seem to stretch on forever. One of those concerns might be about your ability to have children in the future. As a fertility pharmacy, we're here to help you navigate this complex terrain and support your dream of starting or expanding your family.

How Cancer Treatments Can Affect Your Fertility

Treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can have a big impact on your fertility. The extent of this impact varies based on the type of cancer you have, the treatment plan your doctor recommends, and your age. For example, some chemotherapy drugs can damage the ovaries or testicles, leading to a reduced number of eggs or sperm. Radiation therapy, especially when it's near your reproductive organs, can also negatively impact your fertility.

Options for Preserving Your Fertility

It's important to know that you have options for preserving your fertility before starting cancer treatment. Here are some of the most common oncofertility preservation procedures:

1. Egg Freezing (Oocyte Cryopreservation)

This involves using fertility medications to stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple eggs, which are then retrieved and frozen for future use. Fertility pharmacists are key players in this process, providing the medications you need and guiding you on how to use them.

2. Sperm Banking

For men, sperm banking is a straightforward way to keep your fertility options open. It involves collecting and freezing sperm samples, which can be stored and used later for fertility treatments.

3. Ovarian Tissue Freezing

This is a newer method where ovarian tissue is removed and frozen to be reimplanted after cancer treatment. It's an option for women who might be unable to undergo egg freezing for various reasons.

Making the Decision to Preserve Your Fertility Before Cancer Treatments

Choosing a fertility preservation method is a decision you'll make with your healthcare team, including your oncologist and a fertility specialist. You'll want to consider how urgent your cancer treatment is, the success rates of different preservation methods, and what you envision for your future family. Fertility pharmacists can also offer valuable insights, especially regarding the medications involved in these processes.

Insurance and Financial Considerations when Preserving Fertility

Fertility preservation can be expensive, and what's covered by insurance can vary. It's essential to talk to your insurance provider to understand your coverage and look into any financial assistance programs available. Your fertility pharmacy can also help with questions about insurance and the costs of fertility medications. At VFP Pharmacy, we offer oncofertility patients a special 15% discount on any medications that are not covered by their insurance.

Talking to Your Healthcare Provider About Cancer and Your Fertility

Starting a conversation about fertility preservation with your healthcare provider might feel intimidating. We suggest you prepare a list of questions in advance, like how your treatment might impact your fertility, the success rates of different preservation methods, and when you should start these procedures. Don't hesitate to ask about the role of fertility medications in your plan.

Preserving Hope, Fostering Futures

Being diagnosed with cancer is challenging, and thinking about your future fertility might feel like just another burden. However, by exploring your options and making informed decisions, you can take control of your reproductive health. 

If you're facing cancer treatment and have concerns about your fertility, we're here to help. Contact us to learn more about your fertility preservation medication options and how we can support you on this journey, including providing expert advice on fertility medications.