“Will I still be able to have children one day?” is often a question that’s top of mind for women who are diagnosed with cancer and faced with the need for cancer treatment but still want the option for family building in their future. For an expert’s perspective on how to navigate this challenging situation, Romper.com turned to Dr. Gilbert Mottla of SGF’s Annapolis, MD office.
Today, women can pursue fertility preservation—oocyte cryopreservation or egg freezing—to preserve their chances of having children following cancer treatment/remission. However, patients often have a short window before cancer treatment to complete this process and plan for their future—either by freezing their eggs or fertilized embryos.
Why do not all people go through with fertility preservation?
What often stops people from pursuing fertility preservation is finances. Young women with cancer must grapple quickly with some of life’s hardest decisions. About 50 percent of patients who begin the fertility preservation process complete it. “Some of those people aren’t interested in being pregnant, some are too sick to consider it, and there are a whole lot of people who don’t have the financial wherewithal to be able to do it,” explains Dr. Mottla, who testified about the necessity of oncofertility insurance before the Maryland House of Delegates earlier this year.
Fertility Preservation at SGF
When a patient with a recent cancer diagnosis comes to Shady Grove Fertility, a specially trained team guides them through the entire treatment process. This team helps to navigate patients through each step, from finding ways to afford treatment to the actual medical procedure. Due to the time-sensitive nature of treatment, women with cancer can expect an expedited treatment plan and to see a physician for consultation as soon as possible—usually within a few days of calling our office. Once you decide to move forward with treatment, it generally takes 2 to 3 weeks to complete stimulation of the ovaries for the egg retrieval.
Dr. Mottla emphasizes that the options for fertility preservation are good— “that fertility can be spared, and years of regret and grief staved off—with luck, hope, and liquid nitrogen.”
If you or a friend or loved one has been diagnosed with cancer and are interested in learning more about fertility preservation before cancer treatment, we encourage you to contact our New Patient Center at 1-877-971-7755 to schedule an appointment. SGF partners with LIVESTRONG in offering patients a significant discount off the cost of fertility medications used in oncofertility cycles.