Less Common and Experimental Fertility Options in Canada

  • Ovarian tissue banking
  • In vitro maturation

Research is still being completed to determine if these options protect fertility during cancer treatment.

Questions about the most common fertility options
Frequently Asked Questions Ovarian tissue banking In vitro maturation
What does the fertility option involve?

Before treatment:

  1. You have surgery to remove part or all of your ovaries that have immature eggs
  2. You ovaries are frozen while you have treatment

After treatment:

  1. Your ovaries are returned to your womb
  2. Once the eggs begin to mature again they are collected and fertilized with sperm through in vitro fertilization
  3. The fertilized eggs are then put into your womb or into a surrogate

Before treatment:

  1. mature eggs are collected using an ultrasound-guided needle that is inserted into your vagina
  2. Immature eggs are matured for 24 to 48 hours
  3. Mature eggs can be fertilized with sperm to create an embryo
  4. Mature eggs or embryos are frozen while you have treatment

After treatment:

  1. You can thaw your eggs and fertilize them with sperm from your partner or a donor to create embryos
  2. Embryos are put into your womb or into a surrogate
Where is this option available? Few fertility clinics Few fertility clinics
Will my treatment be delayed? Possibly – Depends on surgery timing Possibly – 1 to 2 weeks. Depends on the time it takes to refer you to a fertility specialist. The procedure will take 1 day to complete.
What is the average cost to me? $0 to $1500 $0 to $10,000
Is there funding available? The surgery is covered by provincial health plans. The cost of freezing and storing your ovaries varies by clinic. Possibly - funding may be available in your province. Fertile Future provides funding through the Power of Hope program www.fertilefuture.ca.
What is my chance of getting pregnant? Over 70 live births worldwide Approximately 400 live births worldwide
What are my risks?

Surgical and anesthetic risks

Risks to your child are unknown at this time due to the limited number of births using this method.

Your eggs may not mature enough to be fertilized with sperm.

Risks to your child are unknown at this time because many of the children born using this method are still young.

What other factors should I should consider?

You do not need any hormones or sperm at the time of tissue removal.

You may be required to decide before surgery what happens to your ovarian tissue in the event of a poor outcome from your cancer.

This is an experimental treatment in Canada and not all fertility clinics offer this option.

You do not need to get any hormones before your eggs are removed.

The number of eggs that are removed may be lower than egg freezing. This is because they are not collecting mature eggs from your ovaries.

This is an experimental treatment in Canada and not all fertility clinics offer this option.

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