<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=438279353336154&amp;amp;ev=PageView&amp;amp;noscript=1">
REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT

    Discover the root cause of your fertility problems

    Once we know the source of your fertility issues, we will design your treatment plan to directly address them and give you the best possible chance for a healthy, complication-free pregnancy.
    Get Started Today!
    Family hiking in a field with mountains

    Fertility, Cancer, and Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation

    Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation is very important to us. You can call between the hours of 7 am-5 pm ET or fill out the form to schedule a consultation as quickly as possible.

    CALL: 212-878-7696

    EMAIL: PRESERVE@KOFINAS.ORG

    Request a Call Back

    Does chemo or cancer affect fertility?

    Cancer and going through cancer treatments like chemotherapy can affect fertility and can make having a child more difficult. It's important to speak with your cancer care team about your family planning goals before starting treatment or having surgery to ensure you have the most options available. If you haven’t discussed fertility before starting treatment, it is important to bring up as soon as possible. Your doctor or nurse won’t always remember to bring this up, so if fertility is important to you now or could be in the future, you may need to bring it up yourself. With the likelihood of surviving cancer on the rise, it's important to think about quality of life after cancer and if having a biological child (or another child) could be important to you. The good news is that there are options for both females and males to preserve their fertility and have the opportunity to have a baby later on, once treatment is complete. Should you choose to preserve your fertility, a Reproductive Endocrinologist (fertility doctor) will be able to help you with this process.

    Does chemo or other cancer treatments make you sterile?

    The risk of cancer or cancer treatment causing infertility varies depending on a number of factors like age, type and location of cancer, and type of treatment required such as surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, among other variables. Different types of cancer and treatments have different side effects, and effects on fertility, it's important to remember that everyone is different. One person's experience could be very different from yours. Your cancer care team or fertility doctor will be able to give you some insight as to the risk of infertility associated with your diagnosis and treatment plan. Depending on your personal preferences, family planning goals, religious beliefs and stage in life, there are options. Discuss your questions or concerns with your team of doctors and be sure to get enough information, support and resources to help you make this important decision in order to maintain your ability to get pregnant after chemo.

    Fertility Preservation Options

    Egg freezing
    Egg freezing is a way for females to preserve eggs for use in the future. When faced with a cancer diagnosis, you will typically only have time to be able to do one cycle before wanting to start treatment. This could be a good option for females who might not yet have a partner, aren’t interested in using donor sperm to create embryos or have a religious conflict with freezing embryos. During the retrieval process, the mature eggs will be extracted, frozen and safely stored until you are ready. This process will take about two weeks and require injectable medications before the procedure. Once you are ready to try to become pregnant, the eggs can then be thawed, fertilized by a partner's or donor's sperm, and transferred to the uterus to try to achieve pregnancy. In other words, if you have trouble getting pregnant on your own later on, you will be able to use your eggs to create embryos and you will be able to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) to help you try to become pregnant.

    Embryo freezing
    Embryo freezing is similar to egg freezing in that the process to retrieve the eggs will be the same with the exception being that the eggs will be fertilized using a partner or donor sperm to create embryos before being frozen and stored. Similarly, if you have trouble getting pregnant on your own later on, you will be able to use the embryos to undergo IVF to try to achieve pregnancy.

    Sperm freezing
    Sperm freezing is an established and effective method to preserve fertility for males. We recommend freezing at least two samples. Once a sample has been collected, it will be analyzed in our lab for the number of sperm cells (sperm count), percentage of sperm able to swim (motility) and percentage of sperm that are normally shaped (morphology). The sperm cells are then safely frozen and stored for future use. Sperm can remain frozen for decades and even if you’re not sure if you might want to father a baby later on, sperm freezing is fairly easy and will allow you to keep your options open.

    Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation
    Ovarian tissue freezing or Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation (OTC) was first developed over two decades ago. This new technology allows your doctor to freeze ovarian tissue containing thousands of immature eggs before you begin cancer treatment. This way, when treatment is complete and you’re ready, your ovarian tissue can be transplanted back into your body allowing you to regain full ovarian function, including fertility. Compared to egg freezing, which typically takes at least two weeks and yields an average of 8-14 eggs, we can now freeze thousands of eggs in a single sample of ovarian tissue. This medical breakthrough greatly increases your chances of achieving pregnancy when you are ready and even gives women the opportunity to conceive spontaneously without IVF.

    Can a woman get pregnant after chemo or cancer treatment?
    Women who need to start cancer treatment urgently and don’t have the time it takes to go through an egg freezing cycle should consider OTC. Egg freezing requires at least 2 weeks while OTC can be done within days. Undergoing the OTC procedure guarantees more chances of conceiving later on while allowing you to receive necessary treatments without delay.

    Childhood Cancer and Fertility
    For girls who have not yet reached puberty, ovarian tissue freezing is currently the only option to preserve fertility. With the likelihood of surviving pediatric cancer on the rise, now around 80%, it is important to think about quality of life after treatment and if having biological children could be important later on. With chemotherapy and radiation causing girls to be at a high risk of POI (premature ovarian insufficiency) OTC will be their only opportunity to have a biological child later in life. Parents should take this into consideration and talk to their child to help them make this important decision.


    No matter which method you choose for preserving your fertility, you should discuss your future goals, like how many children you would like to have, and make a plan based on the risks associated with any medical treatments you will undergo. To learn more about Ovarian Cryopreservation, keep reading:

    What Is Ovarian Cryopreservation/Tissue Freezing?

    Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation (OTC) is an established method of fertility preservation developed over two decades ago. It is a way to not only preserve fertility for women or prepubescent girls facing gonadotoxic (fertility damaging) treatment, but any female wanting to preserve more than just a few eggs. It can also help females to regain their reproductive health and endocrine function.

    Females are born with all the eggs they will ever have stored in the cortex (outer layer) of their ovaries. For many women and girls facing medical diagnoses such as cancer or undergoing necessary treatments like chemotherapy and radiation can harm long term fertility and reproductive health. These treatments can lead to an early menopause referred to as POI (premature ovarian insufficiency). Certain genetic disorders like Turner syndrome, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, and galactosemia as well as autoimmune diseases requiring bone marrow transplantation can also cause POI. This new technology allows your doctor to freeze this tissue containing thousands of immature eggs before you begin any treatment that could affect reproductive function. This way, when treatment is complete and you’re ready, your ovarian tissue can be transplanted back into your body allowing you to regain ovarian function, including fertility. It can be stored for many years until the patient is ready to use the tissue.


    Today, thousands of women have already undergone this procedure to preserve their ovarian tissue. To date, around 500 of these women have already had their ovarian tissue transplanted back into their bodies and of those close to 100% have regained ovarian function. Over 130 babies have been born so far after successful transplantation. Compared to egg freezing, which typically takes at least two weeks and yields an average of 8-14 eggs, we can now freeze thousands of eggs in a single sample of ovarian tissue within days and with no hormonal medications. This medical breakthrough greatly increases a patient’s chance of achieving pregnancy when they’re ready and even gives women the opportunity to conceive spontaneously without IVF.

    chat_icon (2)

    Book a Consultation or Ask Questions

    Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation is very important to us. You can call between the hours of 7 am-5 pm ET or fill out the form to schedule a consultation as quickly as possible.

    CALL: 212-878-7696

    EMAIL: PRESERVE@KOFINAS.ORG

    Request a Call Back

    How is Reproductive Cryopreservation different from other forms of cryopreservation?

    When it comes to reproductive cryopreservation, it has traditionally been all about eggs and sperm. You can freeze your eggs and sperm through a rapid freezing technique called vitrification. Vitrification is an effective technology that rapidly cools eggs, or sperm without the damaging effects of any ice crystals forming. Your cells are fully immersed in liquid nitrogen, maintaining their cellular integrity for the duration of the time frozen. This method of freezing is highly effective for embryo and egg freezing but is not the preferred method for ovarian tissue freezing. The preferred method for ovarian tissue freezing is a computer controlled slow freezing method which has proven to be the most successful method for ovarian tissue freezing. Attempts to freeze ovarian tissue by the rapid vitrification technique so far have failed to deliver results comparable to the slow computer controlled tissue freezing technique.

    What to expect before and during the process

    Ovarian tissue cryopreservation is performed in order to preserve the fertility of the patient by the removal of ovarian tissue of one or both ovaries for freezing. Once the patient completes cancer treatment and is ready to build a family, we can transplant the frozen tissue back into the body. The frozen tissue for transplantation will function just like a normal ovary once back in the body, producing all the hormones and eggs, restoring normal ovulatory function, fertility, and menstrual periods.

    Since the timeline is of the utmost importance for this procedure, here’s a breakdown of what it looks like.

    1. Once the Oncologist informs the patient or the patient’s family about the procedure and is interested, the patient or Oncology office can then get in touch with Kofinas Fertility Group’s dedicated Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation Program via call or email. Once the request is received, an appointment can be scheduled for the same day or within 24 hours.
    2. Kofinas Fertility Group has a dedicated program for this procedure and gives these patients top priority. The initial consultation for this procedure has an expedited time frame in which it will occur. It will consist of a complete health history including the records from the Oncologist, taking blood specimens for pre-operative purposes, and scheduling the surgery as early as the next day. Due to the emergent timeline, this procedure does not require any special preparation on the patient’s part prior to surgery.
    3. The surgical procedure will take place at Kofinas Fertility Group’s dedicated surgery center, Manhattan Reproductive Surgery Center. Manhattan Reproductive Surgery Center (MRSC) is the first fully licensed surgical facility solely focused on reproductive care in the state of New York. The facility itself is conveniently located in lower Manhattan on 65 Broadway’s 21st floor, the same building as Kofinas Fertility Group’s headquarters. Because MRSC is closely affiliated with the Kofinas Fertility Group, your care will be seamless and the standard of surgical care received is the best that New York has to offer.
    6
    Steps to an Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation Procedure
    1. Patient schedules quick appointment with Kofinas Fertility.
    2. An expedited consultation will include all necessary preparation for surgery.
    3. Arrive for surgery at the best reproductive surgery center, Manhattan Reproductive Surgery Center.
    4. A minimally invasive incision is made to remove ovarian tissue.
    5. After the hour-long procedure, ovarian tissue is processed and quickly frozen.
    6. Patient recovery is monitored before being released to go home the same day.
    1. The procedure itself will consist of the ovarian tissue, ovary, or ovaries being removed by a minimally invasive laparoscopy through a tiny incision on the abdominal wall. The amount of tissue removed depends on how much tissue is needed according to the age of the patient and what form of cancer treatment is required. The amount of tissue is also taken according to how much will be needed to re-implant back into the patient to restore normal reproductive function and fertility. This will be discussed by your surgeon so that you are fully informed prior to the procedure.
    2. The duration of the procedure will also depend on how much tissue is required to cryopreserve (freeze), but is typically a one hour procedure. The tissue is then processed for freezing within 30 seconds after removal. The processing and preparation of freezing the tissue happens immediately because the MRSC operating rooms have a direct pass-through window to Kofinas Fertility Group’s dedicated Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation laboratory where the tissue will be preserved and stored.
    3. Immediate freezing preserves the viability of the ovarian tissue and the greater the number of oocytes (eggs) that survive the freezing and eventual thawing for re-implantation.
    4. Once the procedure is complete, the patient will be monitored in our post-operative recovery bay for 1-2 hours. This is an outpatient procedure so the patient is able to go home the same day. Recovery looks different for everyone, but patients are typically ambulatory (able to move around) as soon as the next day after the procedure.

    Who can benefit from Ovarian Cryopreservation?

    Currently, OTC is the only method of fertility preservation available for prepubescent girls (girls who have not yet started their menstrual period). With the likelihood of surviving pediatric cancer on the rise, now around 80%, it is important to think about quality of life after treatment and if having biological children could be important later on. With chemotherapy and radiation causing girls to be at a high risk of POI (premature ovarian insufficiency), OTC will be their only opportunity to have a biological child later in life. Egg freezing won’t be an option for prepubescent girls since their ovaries are not yet developed or capable of releasing mature eggs. Parents should take this into consideration and talk to their child to help them make this important decision.

    Women wanting to preserve their future fertility due to any medical condition or treatment that could impact their fertility and reproductive function should consider OTC. Especially those who need to start cancer treatment urgently and don’t have the time it takes to go through an egg freezing cycle. Undergoing the OTC procedure guarantees far greater chances of conceiving later on while allowing you to receive necessary treatments without delay. Egg freezing is still a very good option for those faced with a cancer diagnosis, but the timeline for egg freezing is longer by 2-3 weeks for one cycle. Due to the pending cancer treatment timeline, those who choose to freeze their eggs rather than ovarian tissue will only be able to go through one cycle of egg freezing, yielding an average of eggs far less than that of ovarian tissue.

    Women considering egg freezing without a cancer diagnosis may need to freeze their eggs in multiple cycles due to the unpredictable amount of eggs that will mature with stimulating hormones. Freezing your ovarian tissue minimizes this time from 2-3 weeks down to less than one week. Many women are now choosing OTC rather than egg freezing simply because egg freezing can’t give a guarantee of the number or quality of eggs you will end up with.

    Even if fertility is not on your mind now, it is important to discuss with your doctor before starting cancer treatment.

    Preserving fertility after a
    cancer diagnosis

    If you have been diagnosed with any type of cancer, you should ask your doctor what your next steps will be. If they suggest chemotherapy or radiation treatment, you should ask them how the side effects could affect your fertility. It is important to undergo any fertility preservation treatment before you begin chemotherapy or radiation. You will have to make the decision quickly once diagnosed. It is best to ask as many questions as you might have in the beginning so that you can get the best possible outcome to align with your future family planning goals. If you decide you would like to have the option of having biological children in the future, you should schedule a consultation with a fertility specialist as soon as possible so as not to delay your cancer treatment plan.

    Although there are certain cancers that affect the ovary or blood in which this procedure is not recommended, OTC is effective for most types of cancers. In those special cases that OTC is not recommended prior to cancer treatment, we can perform the procedure after a round of chemotherapy, given that the treatment suppresses the cancer cells and those cells will not survive the freezing process. In any case, your Oncology team, along with your Kofinas Fertility team will discuss the most viable options with you according to your individual needs.

    Why New York’s Kofinas Fertility Group is the best at Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation

    Kofinas Fertility Group prides itself on being at the leading edge of reproductive advancements with over three decades of experience yielding very high success rates and including the establishment of the first ambulatory surgery center dedicated to reproductive care in New York. Adding Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation to the existing list of already comprehensive services offered was a natural and necessary step to providing the best possible reproductive care in New York. Our state-of-the-art facilities made it all possible to bring this program in-house. We are proud to be one of the few facilities in the United States that offers this procedure all under one roof. At Kofinas Fertility, we have a dedicated team just for the patients who need this procedure the most. Our Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation Program works with your Oncology team every step of the way to ensure that your immediate health is taken care of with no delays and that your future fertility is preserved for when the time is right for you or your child to start a family.

    A successful ovarian tissue freezing program demands expert surgeons, experienced tissue freezing laboratory technicians, modern, state of the art, properly equipped with special equipment and instrumentation facilities, such as operating rooms and tissue freezing laboratories with expertise and experience in fertility preservation procedures. The experienced surgeons of Kofinas Fertility Group have developed their own special surgical techniques for ovarian tissue harvesting and ovarian tissue transplantation. The senior technicians at the Kofinas Fertility Group IVF laboratory, with decades of experience in fertility cryopreservation (egg, embryo, and sperm freezing), were trained in ovarian tissue cryopreservation by the world pioneers of these techniques in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2014. Since their training in Denmark, our team is in close contact and cooperation with the Danish team which was also actively involved and advised us during the planning and development of our ultramodern ovarian tissue cryopreservation program. The program is located at the headquarters of the Kofinas Fertility Group at 65 Broadway, Financial District in New York City. Design and construction of the surgical suits and the laboratories was geared towards the development of the ovarian cryopreservation program.

    chat_icon (2)

    Request a Call Back in 3 Business Hours