Fertility preservation and cancer

Preserve your fertility before undergoing cancer treatment

Women and men with cancer may be able to preserve their fertility by freezing their eggs or sperm

1 in 10 of all cancer cases occur in adults of reproductive age. With rapid advances in treatment options for young adults and women of reproductive age with cancer, the long term survival for many previously poor prognosis diseases is much improved .

However, some surgeries and many forms of chemotherapy or radiation therapy that have proven so effective in improving survival rates may severely compromise ovarian, testicular or uterine function. Their damaging effect on developing eggs within the ovary may lead to a dramatic loss in ovarian function, amenorrhoea (loss of cyclical pattern) that may be irreversible and possibly early menopause. Women of reproductive age that receive such a diagnosis may therefore be facing potential loss of future fertility or diminishment in the chances of future childbearing.

These treatments do not have to end the hopes of having a family. Today, in some but not all cases, women with cancer may have the option to preserve their fertility by freezing their eggs or embryos before undergoing cancer treatment and men will have the opportunity to freeze sperm.

Working closely with oncology teams

We recognise that the initial focus of care should always be the mapping out of the most successful treatment strategy with your oncology team. In parallel to this, and in conjunction with the oncology team the Lister Fertility Clinic will be able to discuss fertility preservation options in more detail and potentially plan treatment within 48 hours if necessary. If appropriate, and after discussion you decide to proceed with a fertility preservation option, treatment can start immediately so as not to delay any of the planned oncological treatment.

Where required (for example oestrogen dependent breast malignancies), we utilise specific oestrogen-limiting protocols that aim to maximise response but minimise the oestrogen exposure that may be detrimental

Our aim is to eliminate some of the barriers to preservation by providing a simple pathway for rapid referral, with ease of access to written information and oncofertility counselling, direct access to treating reproductive specialist and a one-stop preparation for treatment.

30 years of Lister Fertility Clinic

As part of the Lister Fertility Clinic turning 30, Dr James Nicopoullos and Dr Yau Thum share the history of the clinic and how they continue to use the latest techniques in

fertility treatments.


Three former patients of the clinic also share their experiences of going through fertility treatment.

Our team

We work with leading fertility experts across a range of medical fields, including gynaecology and urology.

That means you’ll be supported by a whole team of experts, from consultants, embryologists and sonographers to counsellors and experienced fertility-trained nurse practitioners.

Our locations

From complex fertility treatment to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional fertility care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Get in touch

If you want to book an appointment with one of our fertility specialists, or if you have any questions about how we can help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

You can also book an appointment at one of our fertility clinics. Simply click the links below, or call our team on: 020 7881 2000


Request an appointment at Lister Fertility Clinic, Chelsea

Request an appointment at Lister Fertility Clinic, The Portland Hospital

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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