Cancer Patients: Fertility Preservation Options

Drs. Fader and Stone consulting patient

A cancer diagnosis can be devastating. Often, lifesaving treatments may affect your fertility and overall health. Early conversations with your medical team can provide options for parenthood in the future and for restoring your quality of life. We help a variety of patients, including:

  • Children, young adults and adults who have been diagnosed with cancer and are not done growing their families
  • Women who wish to restore their hormone function after treatment

At Johns Hopkins, we understand the urgency of a cancer diagnosis. After your diagnosis, we will meet with you as soon as possible to discuss your cancer diagnosis and the risks cancer treatment may pose to your fertility. We will then work with you to choose the best fertility preservation treatment option for you and begin the process. Our oncology and fertility teams work together to coordinate your cancer and fertility care.

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Fertility Preservation Treatment Options

We offer a range of advanced assisted reproductive technologies and surgical methods to preserve your fertility before, during and after cancer treatment. Your recommended treatment plan will be based on your unique circumstances, including your diagnosis, age, treatment timeline, health goals and personal preferences.

Options for Women Before Cancer Treatment

Reproductive Technologies

Fertility-Sparing Surgical Treatments

  • Ovarian transposition (moving ovaries out of radiation field)
  • Ovarian cystectomy (a laparoscopic surgery to remove cysts from your ovaries)
  • Uterine suspension (moving uterus out of radiation field)
  • Radical trachelectomy (removal of cervix)

Options for Women After Cancer Treatment

  • Donor Eggs
  • Gestational Surrogacy

Options for Men Before Cancer Treatment

Fertility Preservation for Patients with Cancer: What to Expect

Within the first few days of your cancer diagnosis, you will meet with our fertility team to discuss your diagnosis and cancer treatment plan. We will also review your medical history, health goals and the fertility preservation options we offer.

Your doctor will then perform diagnostic tests — such as pelvic ultrasound and bloodwork — to evaluate your fertility. 

Once we have decided together on your fertility preservation treatment option, we will connect you with a financial coordinator who will help you understand the costs. Our partnership with Livestrong Fertility Program for Women can offer some financial assistance to offset the cost of these procedures. We will then schedule and perform the desired procedure and coordinate the timing of your cancer treatments with your oncology team.

After you have completed your cancer treatments and are ready to start your family, we will meet with you again to review our assisted reproductive technologies and help you on your journey to parenthood.

When You’re Ready to Take Action

  1. Talk to your medical team about your interest in fertility preservation. If you are a patient at Johns Hopkins Medicine, your medical team will connect you with our fertility specialists.
  2. If you are not a patient at Johns Hopkins, contact us to schedule your consultation. Email us at [email protected] or complete this appointment inquiry form.
  3. Contact your insurance provider to learn more about your coverage. Our financial coordinators will also help you learn what your insurance covers and share supplemental resources available to you to offset cost.
  4. Plan for flexibility — you may be given short notice to come in for an appointment.

Our Comprehensive Services

Our patients have access to specialists in many departments who work together to coordinate your care from fertility treatment through pregnancy, labor and delivery, and beyond.

  • Obstetrical care throughout your pregnancy
  • Financial counseling
  • Referral to lawyers who specialize in reproductive law
  • Third-party consultation (donor egg, donor sperm, gestational surrogacy)
  • Adoption counseling

Frequently Asked Questions About Fertility and Cancer

Below, our experts answer commonly asked questions about the impact specific treatments have on fertility and the fertility preservation options we offer.