The young woman from London wanted a risky stem cell transplant to treat her multiple sclerosis. She knew the chemotherapy involved with the transplant probably would leave her infertile.
So before traveling to Chicago almost two years ago for the treatment being studied by researchers at Northwestern University, she made a stop in St. Louis. Two days before her transplant, Dr. Sherman Silber at St. Luke’s Hospital removed her ovary, cut the egg-producing tissues into strips and froze them.
Five years ago, reproductive endocrinology didn’t have many answers for a young woman who needed radiation or chemotherapy and still wanted to preserve her fertility. Today there are not only technologies that can help, but also there are patient navigators ready to act as the go-between among a variety of health care providers including oncologists and reproductive specialists. They’re also skilled in helping the patient and her caregivers during a highly stressful time, during which there’s only a limited time frame for making complex and often expensive decisions. We’ll learn how to find these patient navigators in a moment, but first, let’s look at some of the new options.
Egg freezing is no longer an experimental procedure, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), which on 22 October issued new guidelines on the controversial practice. The change in policy is expected to accelerate the growth of clinics that offer egg freezing to women who face fertility-damaging treatment for cancer or other conditions, and to women wishing to delay having a baby — although the society stopped short of endorsing the procedure for that purpose.
iExperiment is a novel portal developed at Northwestern where scientists from around the globe can watch and participate in experiments in reproductive health for the Oncofertility Consortium, a partner of the Women's Health Research Institute.
Dr. Woodruff is part of a 30-part series called "Game Changers." This special series investigates the most remarkable advancements in science, energy and health — and how they will impact the way we live.
July 3, 2012 | Author:Freelance Writer Delia O’Hara
Why is the mystery of life so complex? Why do we need chemists, biologists, ethicists and engineers to unravel this mystery? How do we facilitate relevant research that transcends the boundaries of established disciplines? This program will explore how multidisciplinary teams are working together to understand the complicated process of fertility.
CHICAGO --- A scientist in Austria or elsewhere in the world can now peer into a Chicago collaborator’s microscope in real time while an experiment is being conducted at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
As a reproductive endocrinologist, Teresa Woodruff has spent the better part of her research career focusing on female reproductive health and infertility.
"What we're trying to ensure is that young people who have a cancer diagnosis and are going to be sterilized by that treatment or would have been sterilized by that treatment have options to protect their fertility for a later family that they might want to build,"she said.
We tend to think of rural women's issues in the context of the developing world. But in America rural women also struggle. One of the big factors in rural poverty is the lack of access to decent health services. On March 30,2012, Worldview, a weekly talk show on WBEZ radio, a PBS affiliate, explored rural women’s health issues and needs in the U.S.
CHICAGO --- The Northwestern University science mentoring program recently honored by President Barack Obama graduated 31 Chicago high school girls Feb. 18 at the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center on the Chicago campus.
Chicago teenager Teanna Thomas moved a step closer over the weekend to her dream of becoming a pharmacist, graduating from a Northwestern University program that gives high school students a chance to work with scientists and doctors on cancer research.
Thomas, 18, and 30 other Chicago high school girls on Feb. 18 graduated from Northwestern’s science mentoring program, “Oncofertility Saturday Academy.”