A GP guide to fertility preservation

It is essential that young people are informed about potential fertility impacts of cancer treatment and their options for fertility preservation discussed

Need to know:

  • All children, adolescents and young adults who require treatment that could compromise future fertility must be informed of the risk and options available to preserve fertility before treatment begins.
  • Established fertility-preservation options for females include egg freezing, embryo freezing, ovarian-tissue preservation and protection of the ovaries. Semen storage is the established fertility preservation option for males.
  • Experimental options are in-vitro maturation of oocytes or ovarian tissue for young girls and cryopreservation of testicular tissue for young boys.
  • Egg freezing can usually be completed within 14 days, while tissue freezing can be done almost immediately.
  • Ovarian- and testicular-tissue cryopreservation require scientific expertise, which is only available in a few centres.
  • There is a new national tissue transport service, ensuring that young cancer patients anywhere in