UI Hospitals and Clinics

Fertility Preservation Program

Fertility preservation is offered through the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. There is a range of people that would benefit from exploring the option of fertility preservation. Most commonly, individuals may elect to undergo a fertility preservation procedure due to a medical condition or treatment that may threaten their future fertility, or for elective reasons. Talk to your doctor to find out if fertility preservation is a good option for you.

Fertility Preservation and Cancer

Cancer treatment can impact your ability to have children. If you would like to become a parent after overcoming cancer, our specialists in the Fertility Preservation Program would like to help you achieve that goal. Every effort will be made to see you as quickly as possible. Get started by talking with your care providers.

Questions to discuss with your oncologist:

  • How will my cancer or cancer treatment affect my fertility?
  • Are there effective cancer treatments that are less likely to cause infertility?
  • Can I safely delay cancer treatment to have a fertility preservation procedure?
  • Is fertility preservation an option based on the severity of my cancer?
  • Will I be healthy enough to raise children after cancer treatments?
  • Is it safe for me to use fertility medicines?
  • How long should I wait after my cancer treatment to start a family?

Female Fertility Preservation Options

There are many ways to preserve fertility. Each method has risks and benefits. Certain methods may not work for every patient. Your doctor will help pick the best choice for you.

Embryo freezing
Eggs are removed through a surgical procedure. The eggs are fertilized in the lab with sperm to create embryos. Embryos are frozen for future use.
Egg freezing
Eggs are removed through a surgical procedure and frozen for future use.
Ovarian transposition
The ovaries are surgically moved to a location away from the radiation field to minimize damage.
Ovary tissue freezing
Part or all of an ovary is surgically removed. Tissue containing immature eggs is divided into strips. The strips are then frozen for future use.
Ovarian suppression
Hormone injections are used to temporarily shut down the ovaries during cancer treatment.
Gestational surrogacy
Embryos are made and placed into another woman’s uterus.

Male Fertility Preservation Options

Men whose fertility may be compromised by medical treatment may want to consider banking sperm for future use.

Sperm freezing
A semen sample is produced, tested, frozen, and stored for future use. Learn more about our Sperm Cryopreservation Program here.

If you are considering sperm freezing, please contact our reproductive testing laboratory to schedule an appointment.

Financial Considerations

It’s important to know upfront that insurance rarely covers the costs of fertility preservation procedures. University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has two programs in place to help reduce the costs associated with egg or embryo freezing for individuals who qualify. We are happy to provide more information regarding approximate costs of these services upon request. Please call Pam Funke, Fertility Preservation Program Administrator, at 319-356-4840 to learn more about your financial options.