This is Infertility is a bi-weekly podcast where we fuse narrative storytelling with experience and science to give you a new perspective on what it’s really like to go through a family building journey. Each episode dives into the emotional, physical, and financial burdens carried by those who experience infertility on their path to parenthood. Be it IVF, IUI, egg freezing, surrogacy, adoption, etc., the path is never the same and it can be long, painful, and lonely. It’s our mission to give those struggling a platform to be heard, a community connection, and an opportunity to raise awareness of the 1 in 6 who, for many reasons, struggle with infertility.
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This is Infertility

Episode 54: Oncofertility: Having a Fertility Benefit that Covers Fertility Preservation

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we’re diving into an aspect of breast cancer that’s frequently overlooked. The treatments for cancer (such as chemotherapy, radiation, and other drugs) can put fertility at risk for women in reproductive age. 

One drug in particular, Tamoxifen, is taken for a number of years and helps treat and prevent breast cancer from developing. You shouldn’t try to conceive while taking Tamoxifen. 

However, there’s a solution; some can take a “drug holiday” or break from medication. Typically, the break can last up to a year, meaning you shouldn’t try to conceive until a few months after using the drug. That also means there’s only a short window for someone to conceive. 

People often consider fertility preservation, or egg/embryo freezing, because of the risks and time constraints while dealing with cancer. Just in case you don’t have a healthy pregnancy, fertility preservation is often seen as a safety net so you can move forward with an embryo transfer. It’s an important option to have, but unfortunately, not everyone knows about this until it’s too late. 

Today’s guests, Emily Rich and Ian Schwartz, dive into what it was like for Emily to be diagnosed with breast cancer, their journey with fertility preservation, and how their fertility benefit helped them through this journey. 

Guests: Emily Rich, VP of Strategic Planning and Operations at UJA and Progyny Member, and Ian Schwartz, VP Tailgate and AE Men’s Graphics at American Eagle Outfitters. 

Host: Lissa Kline, VP of Member and Provider Services at Progyny. 

For more information visit Progyny’s Podcast page and Progyny’s Education page for more resources about Oncofertility. 

Be sure to follow us on Instagram, @ThisisInfertilityPodcast and use the #ThisisInfertility. 

Have a question, comment, or want to share your story? Email us at 

Lissa Kline


Lissa Kline
LCSW, VP of Member and Provider Services at Progyny

Lissa oversees the Patient Care Advocates and the Provider Relations Team. She worked at Columbia University Medical Center for several years in the division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Involved in Patient Services and the Donor Egg Program, she loved working with patients while they underwent fertility treatment. Lissa graduated with a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University



Emily Rich
VP of Strategic Planning and Operations at UJA and a Progyny Member

Two months after moving across the country with her fiancé for work, 32-year-old nonprofit executive, Emily Rich, was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer. She and her husband had never thought about preserving their fertility until they were faced with the risk of losing it. With the help of Progyny and an extraordinary team of Oncofertility specialists, Emily and Ian are prepared for their future family plans – whatever they may be. A strong advocate for empowering women, Emily is passionate about urging women to listen to their bodies, become their own healthcare advocates, and support each other through all of life’s challenges.

Music From This Episode:

Artist: Soft and Furious
Track: Melancholic Ending

Artist: Alpha Hydrae
Track: Keratine rust and a clear soul

Artist: Andy G Cohen
Track: Bathed in Fine Dust

Artist: Rest You Sleeping Giant
Track: End of Winter

Artist: Kai Engel
Track: Salue

Artist: P C III
Track: Monachine

Artist: John Woodward
Track: Under the Stairs Instrumental Version

Track: The Gloaming Instrumental Version

Artist: Loyalty Free Music
Track: I care