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Five Important Questions about Fertility Preservation

Posted on December 1, 2019

Fertility preservation refers to a set of treatment options that allow patients to have a child at a later point in time. These treatments generally involve the conservation of reproductive tissue, eggs, and sperm. There are many reasons why patients seek out fertility preservation treatments, including:

  • Being diagnosed with cancer. Many can cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can compromise fertility for both males and females.

  • Having a genetic condition, disease, or disorder that can reduce fertility in the future.

  • Having a high-risk occupation that could impact health and fertility.

  • Wanting to delay having children.

Regardless of the reason, fertility preservation is a serious subject that needs to be considered from multiple angles before proceeding. Here are five important questions that you need to consider before embarking on your fertility preservation journey.

1) What are my treatment options?

For women, the main form of fertility preservation is egg freezing. This process involves removing eggs from the ovaries and cryogenically freezing them for future use. Eggs can also be fertilized prior to freezing. Other options include freezing ovarian tissue, ovarian suppression, ovarian transposition, and radical trachelectomy.

Similarly, for men, the main fertility preservation treatment is sperm freezing or banking. The process involves a brief period of abstinence followed by semen collection via masturbation into a sterile container. The sperm is then frozen for future use. Other options include testicular sperm extraction, testicular tissue freezing, and radiation shielding.

2) Does insurance cover fertility preservation?

Generally, fertility preservation is not covered by insurance, although some states such as New York and California have laws that compel insurance companies to provide coverage for these procedures.

3) How much does fertility preservation cost?

The cost of fertility preservation treatments varies depending on the procedure, geographic location, and individual clinic. For men, sperm banking can cost up to $1,000 for the initial extraction and analysis, and up to $400 per year for storage. For women, egg freezing is significantly more expensive, costing up to $15,000 for the initial services and up to $500 per year for storage.

4) If facing cancer, how will fertility preservation treatments impact cancer treatment?

It’s important to know whether or not any fertility preservation treatments will require you to delay your cancer treatments. And, if so, for how long. It’s also important to be aware of the risks associated with any delay.

5) Where can I find more information about fertility preservation?

To learn more about your fertility preservation options, contact the Fertility Center of California.

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