ACTING NOW TO PRESERVE YOUR CHILD’S FUTURE
Upon a child’s diagnosis of cancer or other disease, survival is foremost on a parent’s mind. Often fertility preservation is not considered or addressed by medical staff. While the majority of children treated can now expect to be cured, they may face possible infertility as a result of their cancer treatments.
It is important that parents of children diagnosed with cancer are proactive in preserving their child’s fertility. If your child’s oncologist does not mention the topic of fertility preservation, we urge you to bring it to his/her attention. Healthcare professionals such as social workers and nurse/patient navigators are good sources of information on fertility preservation.
There are no standard options to preserve fertility of girls or boys who are not yet producing mature eggs or sperm. However, the following procedures are available:
Cryopreservation is the main method of fertility preservation for prepubescent girls, but is also offered to adolescents and young adults if ovarian stimulation for oocyte cryopreservation is not recommended for a patient. The procedure is offered by several centers in the U.S. ReproTech’s Fertility Preservation Network.
Cryopreservation is the main method of Fertility Preservation for prepubescent boys. The procedure is offered by several centers in the U.S., many in coordination with the Fertility Preservation in Pittsburgh program. These centers are members of ReproTech’s Fertility Preservation Network, and are approved to freeze testicular tissue that might be used in the future to restore fertility when experimental techniques emerge from the research pipeline.