Infertility is a distressing side effect of many transplants. Our goal at Rocky Mountain Blood and Marrow Transplant Program is to provide you and your family with resources and support related to the subject of infertility. This is not a comprehensive list of information, but a beginning to help you start the education process.

What is Infertility?

By definition, infertility is the inability to start or maintain a pregnancy.

For women, infertility occurs when the ovaries cannot produce mature eggs. Infertility can also be caused if there is any damage to the reproductive system, which would interfere with an embryo being successfully fertilized or implanted inside the uterus.

For men, infertility occurs when the testes stop producing sperm cells.

How does chemotherapy affect infertility?

Chemotherapy can affect sexual organs and can be a cause of infertility.

Chemotherapy works by killing rapidly dividing cells throughout the body resulting in potential injury to hormones, sperm and egg production.

It is very difficult to predict who will experience permanent sterility or infertility due to chemotherapy treatments.

Infertility depends on many factors, including the chemotherapy, the dosage, and age.

Are there other treatments that affect infertility?

Radiation and surgery also increase your risk for infertility.

Individual treatment factors such as location and doses of radiation affect the chances of becoming infertile. Total Body Irradiation causes infertility.

It is very important to discuss with your physician, coordinator or nurse any issues regarding infertility, as well as options that are available to you.

Infertility and Cancer Resources

Web Resources:

American Society for Reproductive Medicine

This site has an extensive section for patients with frequently asked questions, booklets and fact sheets that address many infertility issues.

fertileHOPE

This is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing information, support and hope regarding cancer and infertility. They also offer programs of awareness, education, financial assistance, research and support.

Local Resources:

CryoGam (Sperm Banking information)

(800) 473-9601 or (970) 667-9901

There are several offices in the Denver Metro Area. Please call the above number to ask questions or set up an appointment for sperm banking.

Dr. Sarah Bull - Denver Endocrinology

(303) 228-1240

Conceptions Reproductive Associates

Littleton (main) – (303) 794-0045

Denver – (303) 399-6515

Boulder – (303) 449-1084

Dr. William Schoolcraft (Infertility Specialist)

(303) 788-8300 or (303) 790-1363

Dr. George Henry (Reproductive Genetics Center)

(303) 399-5393

Articles

Redman, J. Bruce. Reproductive Options For Men with Cancer. (Coping; Vol. 15, No. 5, July/August 2001, p. 44).

Reidenbach, Faith. Conceiving Solutions: Fertility and Cancer Treatment. (CURE; Vol.1, No. 4, December 2002, p. 20).

Schover, Leslie R. Reproductive Issues for Cancer Survivors. (Coping; Vol. 17, No.6, November/December 2003, p. 39).