The MD Anderson Oncofertility Program provides comprehensive fertility services to reproductive age men and women whose fertility may be affected by cancer and its treatment.
Our approach covers four pillars:
- Comprehensive, patient-centered fertility counseling before and after cancer treatment
- Assessment of fertility status
- Discussion of options for parenthood after cancer
- Streamlined access to fertility preservation methods including egg and embryo freezing, sperm banking, and ovarian and testicular tissue freezing through our partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Children’s Hospital Family Fertility Center
- Collaborative care with your oncologist
Pathways© Decision Aid Website
Pathways© is a fertility preservation patient decision aid website for women with cancer. It was created to address the informational and decision-support needs of women at risk for cancer-related infertility. Our research team partnered with cancer survivors and our stakeholder research partners to design, test and optimize the Pathways© patient decision aid to help women make decisions about fertility preservation that are in line with their personal goals and values.
We established a database to collect information about the fertility status of reproductive-aged individuals who have a history of cancer or are considered at high risk of developing cancer. The database includes data about their oncology history, reproductive history, and experiences with fertility preservation, if applicable. This data will help us learn more about the effects of different cancer treatments on fertility status and the reproductive outcomes of cancer survivors.
The MD Anderson Learning Center offers fertility preservation resources both in print and video.
Patient Education (documents)
Emotional & Psychological Aspects of Fertility Preservation
Fertility Options for Men Diagnosed with Cancer: Sperm Banking
Fertility Options for Men Diagnosed with Cancer: Sperm Banking (Spanish)
Fertility Options for Women Diagnosed with Cancer
Fertility Preservation Options for Men and Women (Spanish)
Sexuality and Chemotherapy (Spanish)
The MD Anderson Oncofertility Program is also committed to training current and future clinicians by providing didactic sessions as well as educational opportunities through clinical shadowing experiences.
The Texas Cancer Registry indicates that 7,676 adolescent and young adult Texans between the ages of 15-39 are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2020.
The treatments that are required to treat cancer can directly or indirectly cause medically-induced (iatrogenic) infertility. Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can damage gametes (eggs and sperm), reproductive organs, and/or endocrine functioning; they may also impact the ability to carry a pregnancy. Because this damage is caused by treatments and not the disease, it can affect patients with many types of cancer.
This means that in the midst of dealing with a cancer diagnosis, patients who are about to begin life-saving, but potentially sterilizing, cancer treatments have to make urgent, difficult decisions about their reproductive capacity. Insurance coverage is an important part of ensuring that patients have the broadest set up of options as they consider their futures. According to the Alliance for Fertility Preservation, several states have enacted laws to provide insurance coverage for fertility preservation. MD Anderson serves as a resource for policy makers on this subject, working with stakeholders to help to educate on the benefits of robust coverage for cancer patients.
Learn more at the links below:
Professional Societies and Consortiums
American Society of Reproductive Medicine
Insuring Against Infertility: Expanding State Infertility Mandates to Include Fertility Preservation Technology for Cancer Patients
Oncofertility and the Rights to Future Fertility
Practices and Attitudes Regarding Women Undergoing Fertility Preservation: A Survey of the National Physicians Cooperative
Oncologists’ Role in Patient Fertility Care A Call to Action
State laws and regulations addressing third-party reimbursement for infertility treatment: implications for cancer survivors
Learn how cancer can impact fertility during and after treatment, and find questions men and women can ask their doctor about preserving fertility.
Did You Know?
Adolescents and young adults (age 15-39) diagnosed with cancer each year in the U.S.
The age by which 1 out of 47 women will be diagnosed with some type of invasive cancer
Overall five-year survival rate after a cancer diagnosis