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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
Polsky Urologic Cancer Institute
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Preservation of Fertility

Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery greatly increase infertility risk, but it is difficult to predict which patients will be infertile following treatment. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recommends that physicians discuss the possibility of infertility and fertility preservation options with patients treated during their reproductive years. ASCO also highlights the importance of a referral to a reproductive specialist. Robert Brannigan, MD, Professor of Urology, is an internationally recognized expert in the field of male reproductive medicine and surgery. He provides fertility preservation for men of all ages.

Prior to surgery or radiation therapy, Brannigan counsels patients on the likelihood of infertility based on the type and severity of cancer and planned treatment. For interested patients, Brannigan will discuss options to preserve fertility prior to cancer treatment. The most common procedure for fertility preservation is a process known as sperm cryopreservation (banking), in which ejaculated sperm is stored before surgery or treatment.

For prostate cancer patients who have already undergone radical prostatectomy but wish to have children, Brannigan can perform a simple procedure in which sperm is harvested from the testis or epididymitis. The harvested or cryopreserved sperm is then used during in vitro fertilization with intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

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