Today young adult survivors of cancer and other diseases are looking forward to a future of long term survival due to improved treatments. However, many of the therapies that have so effectively helped increase survival have side effects that may cause the loss of fertility.

  • For women, certain therapies can cause ovarian damage or failure, early menopause, genetic damage to growing eggs and other reproductive problems.
  • For men, treatments can cause damage to the testes and interfere with sperm production.

New reproductive technologies are providing possibilities for preserving fertility in survivors of cancer and other diseases, yet many patients are unaware of these options.

In most cases, decisions on fertility preservation need to be made before treatment begins. Reproductive specialists and patient navigators are working with physicians from clinical centers such as the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center to help patients explore the issues surrounding fertility preservation. Your treatment team can help you understand the options available, assess risks and eligibility, and provide referrals to individuals who are experts in this field.

Available Fertility Preservation Options 

Each patient is unique. The impact of a given treatment on fertility can vary and so can the time available before starting life saving cancer treatments. Fertility preservation treatments must be tailored to the individual circumstances and integrated with the treatment regimen. Close coordination between the treating physician and the reproductive endocrinologist is the key to preserving family-building options for patients. Click on the links below to find out more about fertility preservation options available at Northwestern University or download our brochure for more information.

Learn More about Fertility Preservation for You

Online Resources

Interactive patient education resources are provided by the Oncofertility Consortium to provide information for patients and their parents and partners whose fertility may have or will be impaired by treatment for a disease.  Find answers to cancer-related fertility questions, guidance for talking to physicians about fertility concerns, and assistance in finding a local fertility preservation specialist.

Browse Patient Online Resources 


Non-Malignant Fact Sheets 

Do you have a non-malignant (non-cancer) medical condition known to effect fertility? The Oncofertility Consortium recognized a lack of fertility preservation educational materials for individuals who do not have cancer, therefore we created fertility preservation fact sheets specifically for non-malignant medical conditions! Find your medical condition and learn how it (or its treatment) effects fertility and the available fertility preservation options. 

View Non-Malignant Fact Sheets


Division of Fertility Preservation at Northwestern University
The mission of the Division of Fertility Preservation is to provide treatment options to patients facing a fertility threat from cancer treatment or fertility threatening disease.  The Division employs experts in oncology, gynecological oncology, urology, reproductive endocrinology, pathology, biomedical engineering, molecular biology and the behavioral and social sciences (including bioethics, health law, policy studies, economics and communication science).  Combining these disciplines, the division hopes to create new research breakthroughs in the basic sciences that can be used by clinicians to aid patients with a fertility threat.

Learn more about the Division of Fertility Preservation


Community Resources
Learn about the organizations that partner with the Oncofertility Consortium to ensure advanced care for young cancer patients. Also, hear patients' stories about their experiences with fertility preservation and access other learning materials provided by the Oncofertility Consortium. 

View other Community Resources

File Attachments: