Medical Fertility Preservation (Oncofertility) at NYU Langone Reproductive Specialists of New York

If you are navigating the challenges of a cancer diagnosis or other medical condition that may affect your reproductive health, we're here for you.

At NYU Langone RSNY, we provide comprehensive, safe, and time-sensitive care for women who choose to freeze their eggs prior to undergoing chemotherapy or other iatrogenic surgery. We are proud to welcome patients from centers across Long Island and Brooklyn who need immediate and efficient care to preserve fertility prior to life-saving treatments.

How does cancer treatment impact fertility?

Cancer treatments like chemotherapy work by targeting and killing cells in the body that divide and multiply quickly (like cancer cells). However, oocytes (eggs) also tend to divide quickly and are often affected by chemotherapy. Because fertility following chemotherapy is dependent upon a number of factors including the length of treatment, dosage of drugs, and the patient’s age, it is difficult to predict whether or not a patient will be fertile following treatment. As a result, we encourage all patients who wish to undergo medical fertility preservation to do so prior to their cancer treatment.

What are my fertility preservation options?

Options for medical fertility preservation include egg freezing (retrieving eggs and freezing for future use to create embryos) or embryo banking (creating and freezing embryos for future use). If the patient chooses to create embryos, genetic testing of said embryos is available prior to embryo freezing.

How does fertility preservation work?

Below is an overview of the fertility preservation process. Due to the time sensitive nature of this treatment, patients may experience an accelerated course of care.

  • The patient first meets with an oncologist to determine appropriate cancer treatment and to assess the need for medical fertility preservation.
  • Approximately 24-72 hours following the oncology appointment (depending upon when the patient is scheduled to start cancer treatment), the patient meets with a NYU Langone RSNY Reproductive Endocrinologist to determine a treatment plan for fertility preservation.
  • The patient then meets with our dedicated nursing staff to complete a physical examination, to order medications, and to determine if the patient has insurance coverage or is eligible for any treatment grants or financing options.
  • The patient then undergoes the ovulation induction and egg retrieval process. Please note that in medical fertility preservation cycles, the patient is not limited to a day two cycle start. The full ovulation induction and egg retrieval process takes approximately 12-14 days, although the length of each cycle varies depending upon how each patient responds to treatment.
  • Following an egg retrieval, the patient is ready to begin cancer treatment immediately and typically begins within 1-2 days.

Fertility Preservation: Frequently Asked Questions

How are eggs and embryos preserved?

Eggs and embryos are preserved using cryopreservation beginning with “vitrification” or “freezing.” Vitrification is an ultra-rapid freezing process performed in our embryology laboratory, wherein the eggs (or embryos) are rapidly cooled to subzero temperatures. This rapid cooling process prevents the formation of ice crystals, which can cause cell damage.

When our patients return to use their vitrified eggs or embryos, the vitrification procedure is reversed to allow warming back to room temperature for rehydration. Once the uterus has been properly prepared to receive an embryo, embryos can be transferred back to the uterus immediately, and eggs can be fertilized with sperm 3-4 hours after warming.

How long does fertility preservation take?

Fertility preservation takes approximately 12 to 14 days from the beginning of the treatment cycle. Patients can begin receiving cancer treatment immediately following the completion of their fertility preservation cycle.

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