Ovarian Cancer - Fertility Preservation
Depending on the individual case and the therapies involved, the chances for ovarian cancer survivors to conceive after treatment can be limited. But thanks to our collaboration with UAB Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Services, women have several options to preserve or restore their fertility, so that they may start a family after they complete their cancer treatment. These options include:
- In vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo freezing: This method combines fertility medication with retrieval of the eggs prior to chemotherapy or radiation. The eggs are then fertilized through IVF, and the embryos are frozen for later use. While this is the most established and successful option, it does require precise timing, expense, and the availability of sperm.
- IVF and egg freezing: This option is available for women who may not have a partner. The eggs are harvested and frozen without being fertilized in the hopes of later using them for IVF.
- Ovarian tissue freezing: This experimental treatment option involves the retrieval of ovarian tissue for women who want a solution that does not require the time and hormone treatments necessary with IVF. The tissue is frozen and stored for reimplantation in the ovary after cancer treatment is complete, with the goal of restoring normal hormone production.
UAB Medicine is nationally and internationally renowned for our care of patients with ovarian cancer. We were one of only five institutions to be awarded a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in ovarian cancer by the National Institutes of Health. Coupled with the region’s only Comprehensive Cancer Center, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, our patients have access to the most advanced cancer treatments and research available. And through our Lynne Cohen Preventive Care Program for Women's Cancer, we also offer comprehensive risk assessments and prevention strategies for ovarian, breast, and uterine cancer, arming women with knowledge to make informed decisions about their future risk and care options. We are dedicated to improving treatments and ultimately finding a cure for women’s cancers.
UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.View Clinical Trials
- Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic
- Lynne Cohen and Norma Livingston Preventive Care Program for Women's Cancer
- Comprehensive clinical evaluations for breast and ovarian cancer risk
- Comprehensive genetic counseling
- Genetic testing including multi-gene panel testing
- Screening and prevention programs
- Screening and prevention research trials
- An assessment by a physician or nurse practitioner and certified genetic counselor
- Detailed family history and assessment of genetic cancer syndrome
- Collection of serum for germ line genetic testing (when appropriate)
- Development of an appropriate screening plan with mammography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), pelvic ultrasound, or serum-based tests
Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic
The Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic takes an interdisciplinary approach to caring for patients with serious illnesses, whether they are in active treatment or have completed treatment. Our goal is to help patients fulfill their maximum physical, emotional, spiritual, vocational, and social potential.
The health professionals at the Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic help patients manage the side effects associated with cancer. Referrals to the Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic can be made by any treating physician or nurse or by patient self-referral. A broad range of insurance is accepted.
Patient appointment scheduling is flexible and based on patient needs and other concurrent treatments. Clinic sessions are held Wednesday and Friday mornings with palliative care physicians and fellows. A physician assistant is available Monday through Friday.
Physicians and physician assistants have special expertise in complex symptom management including depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, loss of appetite, pain syndromes, and others.
Nurses support patients by facilitating the clinic sessions as well as managing communication with patients. They are the front line of patient care.
Physical therapists develop individualized programs for each patient to help with coordination, balance, strength, endurance, flexibility, or range of motion. Counselors are experienced in structuring counseling sessions to meet the specific needs of each person. Individual, couple, and family sessions are available.
Nutritionists have expertise in nutrition for patients with serious illnesses.
Massage therapists are trained in all types of massage, including oncology massage, which is a specialized approach that supports the body's health before, during, and after treatment for cancer.
Our clinic is an active teaching environment with fellows, residents, and students in both medicine and nursing participating in patient care.
The UAB Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic is located on the 3rd floor of The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital.
Patients can request an appointment online or by calling UAB Healthfinder at 205.934.9999 or 800.822.8816.
Lynne Cohen and Norma Livingston Preventive Care Program for Women's Cancer
UAB’s Lynne Cohen Preventive Care Program for Women's Cancer provides comprehensive risk assessment and prevention for breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer, arming women with knowledge to make informed decisions about their cancer risk and care. Launched more than a decade ago, the clinic merges multiple medical specialties with clinical expertise and research to create one of only a few programs of its kind in the nation dedicated to women’s cancers. In addition to offering sophisticated genetic counseling and assessment, the clinic provides access to preventive interventions and clinical trials. The program is staffed by a distinguished group of medical professionals, including surgical and gynecologic oncologists, genetic counselors, nurse practitioners, and research staff, who work together to deliver the highest level of personalized care.
The Lynne Cohen Preventive Care Program for Women's Cancer offers the following services:
When you choose the Lynne Cohen Preventive Care Program for Women's Cancer, your initial one-hour visit (completed in person or soon by telemedicine) will consist of: