DATE PUBLISHED: 05 Feb 2019 LAST UPDATED: 15 Mar 2021

World Cancer Day – Cancer and Fertility

Yesterday was World Cancer Day, where people around the world joined together to create a global community, to support those with cancer, to raise awareness and to push for progress in access to treatments and scientific developments.

Cancer is one of the biggest health issues facing us today, and all of the projects and events which are taking place under the banner of World Cancer Day are really positive.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, you will have a lot to think about, and fertility issues may not be at the forefront of your mind. However, it’s really important to understand the impact which your treatment may have on fertility, and for you to know about steps which can be taken to give you the best possible chance of having children in the future, if this is what you want. It may be important for you to undergo procedures to preserve your fertility before your treatment starts.

If you are a woman, you may be able to undergo egg collection, and your eggs will then be frozen until you are ready to use them to conceive a child in the future. Alternatively, you may be able to create embryos using your eggs and your partner’s sperm, which again can be frozen. If you’re a man, you may decide to have your sperm frozen.

Eggs, sperm and embryos can be stored for up to 10 years in the UK. However, the time limit can be extended in certain circumstances, which may apply to you if you are prematurely infertile. If you would like to extend the timeframe for storage, you should get legal advice in plenty of time, and we can talk you through the process for applying for an extension.

If you are creating embryos using your partner’s sperm, it’s important to understand that you both need to consent to those embryos being stored and used in the future, and your partner has the right to withdraw his consent at any time. If you stored your eggs (which won’t have been fertilised with sperm), then no-one else but you needs to consent to their storage and use.

More information about cancer treatment and fertility can be found on the Macmillan website

If you would like legal advice about any of the issues mentioned above, please don’t hesitate to contact Suzi Denton on 01202 057865 or

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