Cancer rates in men and women of reproductive age have continued to increase in recent years; however, therapy has dramatically decreased the mortality rates. Since 1990, the prevalence of cancer survivors in young adults increased from 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 250 patients due to more aggressive therapies. Current therapies may have profound toxic effects on gamete function with infertility as an expected consequence of cancer therapy. Depending on the site and stage of cancer, age of the patient, and the type of treatment, approximately 90% of men and women diagnosed with cancer may be at risk of permanent infertility.
Fertility preservation has emerged as a discipline dedicated to improving the future reproductive potential of cancer survivors. Significant progress in the advancement of fertility preservation therapies and a heightened awareness of the availability of therapies has occurred in the past 10 years. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) have advanced these efforts by formally recognizing the importance of fertility awareness.