Buddy Check November 2011: Free Fertility Rescue

Published 11/29 2011 12:02PM

Updated 11/29 2011 12:11PM

Bethlehem, Northampton County -- When it comes to cancer, and whether or not patients can have kids after chemotherapy, the numbers are staggering.


"Each year, about 40,000 women in reproductive age will acquire cancer, and treatment will render about half of those patients sterile," said Dr. Albert Peters with Sher Fertility Institute. 


In years past, the institute provided fertility treatment at a reduced cost, but now, it's offering free fertility rescue for cancer patients - no strings attached.  That's an average savings of about $10,000 per patient.


Chemotherapy often damages women's eggs and cuts back on sperm production in men. While freezing sperm and embryos has become commonplace -- freezing eggs hasn't proved successful in the past. But a new process called "vitrification" is what's allowing the Sher Fertility Institute to reach out to cancer patients.


"The pregnancy rates per egg now range somewhere in the 25-30% range per egg compared to the old method of freezing which was about 4%," said Dr. Peters.


He says the majority of people who come to Sher are breast cancer patients, and at least a quarter of them never discussed fertility options until it was too late.


"We understand these are urgent issues, these patients need to have their chemotherapy relatively quickly, and we will alter our schedules to help them do that," said Dr. Peters. "We just want people to know we're here so we can educate patients and doctors and let them know that if they need us, we're more than happy to provide the service."


Dr. Peters and the rest of Sher Fertility Institute hope news of their free fertility rescue spreads quickly.  For more information, check out this link, and then share it with your friends.

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