Urgent fertility preservation

We understand a serious medical or cancer diagnosis can mean making some urgent decisions.

Uncertainty about your future fertility can be daunting, even for those who haven’t thought about starting a family. You have choices to preserve your fertility, so you can start or grow your family in the future.

Choosing the right option for you

Your oncologist, specialist or surgeon will work closely with your fertility specialist to recommend your best options for preserving your fertility without putting off any other urgent medical treatment.

Monash IVF Fertility Preservation Service

Our service guarantees you’ll have a consultation with a fertility specialist within 24-48 hours of you, your oncologist or specialist contacting us.

To make an urgent fertility preservation appointment, please call 1800 628 533.

Preserving female fertility

If you experience cancer or premature menopause, we can offer choices to preserve your fertility so you can have a child later in the life.

Female fertility can be protected and preserved through different options depending on your medical issue, including:

  • egg freezing
  • embryo freezing
  • ovarian tissue freezing
  • taking fertility-protecting medications.

Egg freezing

Egg freezing allows a woman to store eggs to preserve fertility. When you’re ready to use your eggs, they are thawed and fertilised before being implanted into your uterus. The process generally takes a couple of weeks, and can be fast-tracked for patients who need urgent medical treatment.

Embryo freezing

If you have a partner, you may wish to freeze embryos (fertilised eggs) for future use. This process can also be fast-tracked for patients who need urgent medical treatment.

Ovarian tissue freezing

Removing ovarian tissue for freezing is a relatively new technique. When you’re ready, the tissue is grafted back intox` your pelvis in the hopes the tissue will begin growing mature eggs. You can then get pregnant through a modified IVF treatment.

We’re proud to have been part of Australia’s first pregnancy from ovarian tissue freezing.

Taking fertility-protecting medications

You can take some medications during chemotherapy or radiotherapy to help reduce damage to the ovaries. Your oncologist and fertility specialist will work together to find the best options for you.

To make an urgent fertility preservation appointment, please call 1800 628 533.

Preserving male fertility

Freezing sperm is an option for men who want to preserve their fertility. Sperm can be stored for long periods of time and then thawed for an insemination or IVF technique.

Freezing sperm might be an option if:

  • you’re about to start chemotherapy or radiotherapy that may impair fertility*
  • you have a very low sperm count that might fall to zero over time
  • you’re about to have a surgery or a vasectomy
  • you’re completing IUI or IVF treatment and can’t produce fresh samples during treatment.

If you have a medical issue, such as cancer, that requires chemotherapy or radiotherapy, it’s important to talk to your oncologist and fertility specialist about the best fertility preservation options for you.

Freezing your sperm

Monash IVF works with Australian Clinical Labs to freeze your sperm.

You will need a referral letter from your GP or your fertility specialist, before making an appointment with Australian Clinical Labs.

Producing your sperm sample

Before producing your sample, we recommend you don’t have sex or ejaculate for at least 2 days, but no more than 7 days. Your sample is collected via masturbation at home or in a private room at the clinic.

If you’re producing your sample at home, it’s important the sample is brought to Australian Clinical Labs within 1 hour. You should keep the sample as close to body temperature as possible, in a pocket close to your body. You’ll still need an appointment if you produce from home.

Monash IVF tip: If masturbation is not possible for medical or religious reasons, talk to Australian Clinical Labs about getting a special condom so you can produce your sample via intercourse.

 Storing sperm

Scientifically, there’s no limit on how long sperm can be frozen but the length can vary in depending on each state’s rules.

For more information or to make an appointment, please contact Australian Clinical Labs on 1300 453 688.

Preserving fertility for trans patients

If you identify as trans*, gender fluid or non-binary, we can help you preserve your fertility to start a family when you’re ready. It’s worth thinking about if you want to have a genetically-related child in the future.

Wherever you are in your journey, we’re here to help.

Trans women (male-to-female)

Options include:

  • freezing sperm
  • freezing testicular tissue (surgical sperm removal is available if masturbation is difficult).

Trans men (female-to-male)

Options include:

  • freezing eggs
  • freezing ovarian tissue
  • freezing embryos (if you’re in a relationship).

Monash IVF Smart Science

If you’re a trans man and you’ve kept your uterus and ovaries, a successful pregnancy is possible even if you’ve had testosterone treatment.

Preserving fertility by freezing embryos

If you’re in a relationship, freezing embryos for future use may be an option.

Embryo freezing involves completing an IVF treatment cycle and freezing the embryos. Frozen embryos can be stored for 5 years (with extensions available).

It’s important you discuss all your options, including embryo freezing, with your oncologist, fertility specialist and our counsellors. When embryos are created, both partners own those embryos and need to make decisions together about what happens to them. If a relationship breaks down, this could mean either or both partners lose access to the embryos.

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