Assistance for Women with Cancer

Texas Fertility Center Assistance Programs for Women with Cancer

Our Austin Fertility Clinic Helps Female Cancer Patients Secure Financial Assistance and Information on Fertility Preservation Options

Fertility preservation options for women at  Texas Fertility Center include both egg freezing and embryo freezing

Embryo Freezing

Embryo freezing is a medically accepted way to preserve the possibility of fertility for both couples and single women wishing to use donor sperm.  First, the ovaries are stimulated to mature multiple eggs.  Our TFC physicians then remove the mature eggs and fertilize them in the lab with sperm from a partner or donor to create embryos.  The fertilization process is called in vitro fertilization (IVF).  Embryos are then frozen for future use. The steps required to freeze embryos take between two and six weeks.

Egg Freezing

Egg freezing may be an option for singe women who do not have a male partner and do not want to use donor sperm.  First the ovaries are stimulated to mature multiple eggs.  Doctors them remove the mature eggs and freeze the eggs with a revolutionary new technique called vitrification for future use.  In October of 2012 The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) released the statement endorsing the use of vitrification for use in preserving the fertility of cancer patients.  The steps required to freeze eggs take between two and six weeks.

ASRM statement October 20, 2012
“Oocyte cryopreservation is an exciting and improving technology, and should no longer be considered experimental. Pregnancy rates and health outcomes of the resulting children are now comparable to those of IVF with fresh eggs,” said Eric Widra, MD, Chair of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) Practice Committee.

Samantha Pfeifer, MD, Chair of the ASRM Practice Committee said, “While a careful review of the literature indicates egg freezing is a valid technique for young women for whom it is medically indicated, we cannot at this time endorse its widespread elective use to delay childbearing. This technology may not be appropriate for the older woman who desires to postpone reproduction.”

Read full ASRM statement

Pregnancy rates after fertility preservation (from www.FertileHope.org)

It is difficult to define the pregnancy rates associated with embryo and egg freezing for cancer patients because available data for this population is limited. For infertility patients, the literature suggests that pregnancy rates using frozen embryos are around 25%. According to a small number of studies with small study populations, pregnancy rates using frozen eggs can range anywhere from 20-35%, but these rates are not definitive. Pregnancy rates may increase with egg freezing when it is combined with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), a procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg.

See TFC Pregnancy Rates as reported to SART (Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology)

Fertile Hope’s Sharing Hope Program for Women

Texas Fertility Center works with Fertile Hope to assist patients newly diagnosed with cancer receive discounted embryo and egg freezing services.

The female cancer patient services provided include:

  • 20% discount for TFC services, blood work and female embryology services
  • Free fertility medications: #7 450 Gonal, 5 Cetrotide and 1 Ovidrel

Sharing Hope  and Texas Fertility Center only cover the above-noted services in this program. The patient or her insurance company will have to pay for services provided by places not affiliated with the program.

Other services not covered include:

  • Some laboratory work
  • Hospital or anesthesia charges associated with egg retrieval
  • Long-term storage fees for eggs and embryos
  • Costs of future conception, prenatal or other care
  • Oncology services
  • Travel associated with fertility preservation

To qualify for Sharing Hope for Women, patients must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • US Citizen or permanent resident
  • Annual household income less than $100,000 (single) or $135,000 (married)
  • Diagnosis of certain types of cancer
  • Oncologist determines that cancer treatment plan presents the risk of infertility
  • Has not yet started fertility-damaging cancer treatments
  • Oncologist and reproductive endocrinologist determine that the fertility preservation treatments and associated medications are medically appropriate
  • Uninsured or denied insurance coverage for the treatments and procedures required for egg and/or embryo freezing
  • Has not participated in Sharing Hope program before

Please note that a complete application requires both a completed Oncologist Referral and Certification Form and a completed Reproductive Endocrinologist Certification form. For Questions on how to apply for the Sharing Hope program please contact Missy Dillard at Texas Fertility Center or Contact TFC

Please click on the following link to download the application:

Download Sharing Hope Application

h.e.a.r.t.beat Fertility Preservation Program

Hearing you have cancer is overwhelming. For females of child bearing age, future fertility may be of concern. Fertility preservation treatments can help. Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy have a solution for providing the necessary medications.  A donation from Ferring Pharmaceuticals will allow you to receive select fertility products for your fertility preservation treatment at no cost. There are no forms for you to fill out and no financial requirements to  meet. Simply have your doctor send us your prescription and we will take care of the rest.

To qualify for h.e.a.r.t.beat
  • No financial requirements*
  • Female
  • US Citizen or permanent resident
  • Diagnosis of cancer
  • Cancer treatment has not be initiated
  • No recent chemotherapy treatment within prior six months
  • Oncologist and reproductive endocrinologist determine that fertility preservation treatment is medically appropriate

*Certain restrictions may apply.  Federal healthcare program beneficiaries, including but not limited to State Medicaid and State Medicaid managed care recipients, as well as residents of Massachusetts, New Jersey and Arkansas are ineligible for this program.

Please contact Texas Fertility Center if your are interested in applying for this assistance program.

Other cancer assistance programs available to TFC patients

The Caporal Assistance Network is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to assisting young adults living with cancer in the Central Texas area. Recognizing the fact that the average young adult carries a heavy load of financial debt, CAN strives to relieve a portion of the financial and emotional burden that a cancer diagnosis presents.

THE MARIPOSA PROGRAM

CAN provides financial assistance to young adults who are pursuing fertility preservation services due to the possibility of becoming infertile as a result of cancer treatments such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Our goal is to effectively reduce the out–of–pocket expenses young adults may incur resulting from these procedures. Learn more about the Mariposa Program.

COMMUNITY ADVOCACY

CAN connects cancer patients and survivors, as well as caregivers, family members and friends, to vital community resources to assist in the treatment and recovery process. Local organizations and programs include peer support groups, nutrition workshops, exercise programs, and insurance/financial consultations.