Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Fertility Unit
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Chemotherapy patients

There are some situations where women are about to undertake treatment (usually chemotherapy for cancer) that may make them infertile.

In such situations there are a number of options available to preserve fertility.

There is extensive research world-wide aimed at developing methods of preserving reproductive capabilities, particularly through cryostorage of ovarian tissue and oocytes. So far the results have been disappointing.

Genea is currently undertaking research to store eggs using a process called vitrification. This is only available for young women without a male partner at the time of their need for fertility preservation.

Currently, the chance of having a baby after either of these methods is small.

Cryostoring embryos prior to treatment that may make a woman infertile gives the best chance of later having a baby.

At the RPAH Fertility Unit, we offer IVF with cryostorage of all suitable embryos to women aged 16 – 38 year inclusive about to embark upon such treatment.  We also offer vitrification of eggs, though this process is currently still experimental.

This situation can be very complex. We always liaise closely with other physicians and teams involved in patient care. To undertake an IVF cycle can take weeks, and cancer treatment needs to be delayed for this time.

The precise nature of the IVF cycle we recommend often depends on the time available and other individual circumstances.

Click here to download the information sheet "Fertility Preservation"