Medical treatments for cancer such as chemotherapy and radiation can cause lasting infertility in both men and women.
The primary option for men to maintain fertility while receiving treatment is to cryopreserve his sperm. This process is relatively simple and inexpensive.
Women have a couple options, such as egg or embryo cryopreservation. However, these options are both complex and costly.
Often times, it is up to the treating physician to inform patients of their fertility preservation options. However, a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that women are often overlooked when it comes to being informed.
Of 500 cancer survivors aged 18 to 45, 80% of men said their doctor had informed them that chemotherapy could lead to infertility. Only 48% of women were similarly informed.
Furthermore, 68% of men received information on fertility preservation options, compared to only 14% of women.
Researchers are unclear of why this discrepancy exists. However, it may be due to the complexity of female fertility preservation compared to the relative ease of male fertility preservation.