What is the timeline like for people with cancer and fertility preservation?
You can also read the transcript of the video below.
Jill Trainer, MSW, LCSW
Patient Navigator, Division of Fertility Preservation
Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
The timeline that cancer patients have really varies depending upon their disease. It depends upon what type of treatment they’re going to have for fertility preservation. For men who are going to do sperm banking, we don’t need a lot of time. We only maybe need a day or two in order to get a couple of samples from that male. If it’s a woman who’s doing emergency IVF either with embryo or egg freezing, that process takes approximately two weeks, and that’s two weeks from the time of her period. That can be jumpstarted. We don’t necessarily have to wait for a patient’s menstrual cycle in order to start the hormones for the egg harvest. But likely, that’s when we usually started this with the beginning of their next menstrual cycle and we need about two weeks from that point. In order to have the egg harvest, they’re usually on the medication for about 10 to 12 days and then the retrieval takes place about the 14th day. And then, they generally only need a few days after that to recuperate then they can start chemotherapy or whatever treatment that they need to soon after the retrieval has happened. If it’s ovarian tissue freezing or ovarian transposition, then those are outpatient surgeries that are done laparoscopically and generally, those can be completed within a matter of days. It’s usually done on an urgent basis so the patient is usually we try to get those patients seen as quickly as possible and have the surgery done.