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Fertility Preservation (for patients diagnosed with cancer)

We offer a Fertility Preservation Service for patients diagnosed with cancer.



As cancer treatments improve, the problems faced by survivors of cancer and the complications of cancer therapies become more important. Many survivors are young and are diagnosed and treated before they have children. Malignancies and their treatment can significantly affect the chance of a patient having a child in the future. We therefore realise how important it is that all patients are able to discuss the effects of treatment with a fertility expert and explore whether they are able store eggs, sperm or embryos before their cancer treatment, which could be used to help them have their own biological child in the future.

Patients in this situation are faced with two devastating diagnoses simultaneously - malignancy and infertility. Having to face both diagnoses can cause huge distress and therefore all patients will be offered an appointment to see one of our counsellors if they wish.


Our service

At Saint Mary's Hospital we have stored sperm for men facing cancer treatment for many years. Our Fertility Preservation Service for women started in 2008.  We appreciate that cancer treatment often has to start very quickly and in these cases we aim to see patients within one week.

Our service is led by Dr Cheryl Fitzgerald, Consultant in Reproductive Medicine and Della Gould, Clinical Nurse Specialist, who liaise closely with the rest of the Reproductive Medicine team and with the teams responsible for the patient's cancer treatment.

We offer NHS treatment to eligible patients and continue to work with health care purchasers to ensure that treatment is available to as many patients as possible. Whilst some patients may not be eligible for NHS funded treatment, bwe can still see these patients for a consultation within the NHS and give advice.


After oncology treatment

Many patients present for fertility investigations after cancer treatment. Assessment can be carried out as for any couple. If a woman continues with a menstrual cycle after chemotherapy, we advise her to try to conceive as soon as possible (after discussion with the oncologists) as she has a higher risk of premature ovarian failure. Additionally, investigation and treatment should be carried out without unnecessary delay. However, it is important to wait at least nine months after the completion of treatment before assessing resultant ovarian reserve.



Our patients have found counselling extremely helpful and this service is available to all patients referred to us.  Click here for more information about our Counselling Service.


How can I access this service?

Patients are usually referred by their GP or Cancer Specialist (Oncologist).


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