Cancer Patients

Fertility Options for Women with Cancer

Women who are diagnosed with cancer may fear losing their ability to one day have children. Radiation and chemotherapy can cause damage to the reproductive organs in addition to destroying cancer cells.

After cancer treatments, some women will become infertile or even go through menopause. The American Society for Clinical Oncology recommends that patients with a desire for future fertility be referred to a reproductive specialist as early as possible, ideally prior to beginning treatment.

Teenagers and women of childbearing age should speak with their oncologist about the fertility risks of their particular treatment regimen and determine whether they are an appropriate candidate for fertility preservation. Once you decide to move forward with treatment, it generally takes 4 to 5 weeks to complete stimulation of the ovaries for the egg retrieval.

Our caring and professional staff is committed to supporting and helping cancer patients determine if freezing eggs before starting cancer treatments is the right approach, especially as they consider their options during this challenging and overwhelming time. Please contact our nursing staff at 515-222-3060, option 1 (when prompted), to learn more.

Male patients diagnosed with cancer may opt to freeze their sperm for future use. Mid-Iowa Fertility provides sperm freezing options. For more information, contact Kepler Johnson at 515-222-3060.

Fertile Hope Foundation

Founded in October 2001, Fertile Hope is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing reproductive information, support and hope to cancer patients whose medical treatments present the risk of infertility.

Fertile Hope is partnered with the Lance Armstrong Foundation to help meet the profound needs of patients whose medical treatments present the risk of infertility. The organization was founded in 2001 by cancer survivor Lindsay Nohr Beck as a result of her own endeavors to preserve her fertility in the face of critical cancer treatments.

Fertile Hope is dedicated to helping these patients through programs and services in the following five areas:

  • Awareness: 
Increase awareness of fertility risks and preservation options among medical, patient, and lay communities
  • Education: Provide credible and accurate educational resources to enable educated medical advice and patient decisions
  • Financial Assistance: Provide fertility preservation financial assistance options for patients whose medical treatments threaten reproductive function
  • Research: Advance fertility preservation technologies through research grants
  • Support: Provide support to help patients cope with the physical and emotional issues associated with infertility, fertility preservation, assisted reproduction, family planning, genetic counseling, pregnancy, adoption and other related challenges