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BackTable / OBGYN / Podcast / Episode #22


with Dr. Leslie Appiah

In this episode, Dr. Leslie Appiah, who is fellowship-trained in Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology and is the Director of the Fertility Preservation Program at the University of Colorado, discusses oncofertility and fertility preservation.

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Oncofertility with Dr. Leslie Appiah on the BackTable OBGYN Podcast)
Ep 22 Oncofertility with Dr. Leslie Appiah
00:00 / 01:04

BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2023, May 4). Ep. 22 – Oncofertility [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from

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Podcast Contributors

Dr. Leslie Appiah discusses Oncofertility on the BackTable 22 Podcast

Dr. Leslie Appiah

Dr. Leslie Appiah is the director of the fertility preservation program and the chief of the division of academic specialists in OBGYN at the University of Colorado Anschutz.

Dr. Amy Park discusses Oncofertility on the BackTable 22 Podcast

Dr. Amy Park

Dr. Amy Park is the Section Head of Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, and a co-host of the BackTable OBGYN Podcast.

Dr. Mark Hoffman discusses Oncofertility on the BackTable 22 Podcast

Dr. Mark Hoffman

Dr. Mark Hoffman is an OBGYN and minimally invasive gynecologic surgeon with University of Kentucky Healthcare.

Show Notes

Dr. Appiah begins the episode by defining oncofertility as a multidisciplinary field that improves fertility and reproductive health outcomes for patients with cancer diagnoses. She emphasizes the growth of the field, with the term “oncofertility” being coined in 2009 by Dr. Teresa Woodruff at Northwestern University. Now, 13 states have legislation that mandates insurance providers to cover fertility services for patients with and without cancer.

The primary patient population that may benefit includes patients with a cancer diagnosis, although additional populations who may benefit, including patients with Sickle Cell Anemia undergoing bone marrow transplant, systemic lupus erythematosus using alkylator therapies, transgender populations undergoing gender-affirming treatments, and patients born with genetic conditions that may result in infertility (e.g., Turner Syndrome). The main agents that are harmful to fertility include alkylator and radiation therapies.

The physicians then transition to discuss fertility preservation, and Dr. Appiah highlights that it is the responsibility of medical providers to offer counseling for every patient who is at risk for infertility. She then describes types of fertility preservation, including sperm banking, testicular tissue preservation, egg freezing, and ovarian tissue cryopreservation. Dr. Appiah then shares 3 different procedures that are used for ovarian tissue cryopreservation, the most common approach begin a laparoscopic procedure to retrieve one ovary, which is then preserved and later transplanted back into the pelvic peritoneum once the patient has completed cancer therapies and is ready to start a family.

The episode concludes with Dr. Appiah shares future directions in the field of oncofertility, which includes streamlining the process for male patients, ensuring every state is able to allow fertility preservation services that are covered by insurance providers, optimizing the process of transplanting ovarian tissue, and utilizing ovarian tissues for hormone replacement.


ReproTech, Fertility Preservation:

Oncofertility Consortium:

Alliance for Fertility Preservation, Fertility Scout:

Disclaimer: The Materials available on are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients. The opinions expressed by participants of the BackTable Podcast belong solely to the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackTable.

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