In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we review the issue of preserving fertility in women with cancer.
Historically, embryo cryo-preservation has been a successful method in preserving a woman’s fertility; however, egg cryo-preservation has become an established method of preserving fertility in women as well. Egg cryo-preservation also allows for the most power over future fertility, especially in the event of a divorce or if you are a single woman.
Although improved pregnancy outcomes have come from frozen embryos in recent years, a woman may not be able to use them in the future if a divorce occurs between her and her spouse. Therefore, egg cryo-preservation seems to be a viable option for women after cancer treatment to preserve their fertility even if a sperm donor is necessary.
With fertility preservation also comes a discussion about the costs related to treatments and cryo-preservation. A discussion of costs becomes an important factor for patients contemplating fertility preservation as most health insurance is unlikely to cover treatments, or the cryo-preservation of gametes.
But even if your health insurance doesn’t cover costs, there are other options to ensure fertility preservation such as financing through clinics, medical treatment loans, personal or home equity loans, borrowing from retirement funds, family borrowing, credit cards, by negotiating rates or limits with credit card companies, and other options such as foundations that provide for fertility treatments, grants and scholarships, or personal fundraising such as crowd-funding through websites.
Although funding of fertility preservation is a daunting task for many, it is clear that a woman’s drive to create a family will stop at nothing to obtain financing of their fertility options with the support of professionals within the community to help them along the way.
Review of such documents and the explanation of the legal ramifications by an attorney are always recommended in these instances, particularly an attorney that is experienced and knowledgeable in the terminology, contracts, procedures and ethics surrounding ART. That way, the patient is counseled on their understanding of the information presented, and can therefore give Informed Consent.
heARTbeat is a publication of KingSpry’s Adoption Law and Assisted Reproductive Technology Law Practice Group. It is meant to be informational and does not constitute legal advice.