Stanford Children's Health

Fertility Preservation: Understanding Your Options

Anna Sokalska, MD, PhD | Brandie Plasencia, RN, BSN - Speaker Bio

anna-sokalskaAnna Sokalska, MD, PhD, is the director of the Fertility Preservation Program at Stanford Children’s Health. She offers a unique perspective on fertility as both a PhD and a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology. Dr. Sokalska’s research efforts focused on the implantation window, reproductive aging, endometriosis, chronic pelvic pain, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the uterine microbiome, and more, bringing full meaning to the moniker “physician-scientist.” Dr. Sokalska is a board-certified OB/GYN and specialist in reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI). She completed a fellowship program at the University of Pennsylvania, where she also completed her Obstetrics and Gynecology residency. She joined the Stanford obstetrics and gynecology team in 2019. Dr. Sokalska was awarded first scholar in her medical school class at the Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poland. She completed a research fellowship at Malmö University in Sweden and postdoctorate work at UC Davis, concentrating her studies on endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome. Dr. Sokalska’s passion is solving her patients’ infertility issues and preserving their fertility so they can fulfill their dreams of bringing a child into the world. 
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brandie-plasenciaBrandie Plasencia, RN, BSN, is the nurse coordinator for the Fertility Preservation Program at Stanford Children’s Health. Plasencia graduated from Saint Mary’s College, in California, with a BS in psychology and went on to pursue her MA in psychology at Argosy University. Her first career was as a social worker for foster children and families, where she spent her time assisting them on their new journeys. After four years, Plasencia decided that she wanted to pursue her love of science and caring for people and therefore attended Samuel Merritt University and graduated with a BS in nursing. She spent the first six years of her nursing career caring for patients who were hospitalized for various conditions, including those requiring chemotherapy infusions. During her time caring for these oncology patients, she learned that some of her patients reported not having had a discussion with their provider about freezing their eggs prior to chemotherapy or radiation. Plasencia felt a desire to educate and walk with these patients as they journey to preserve their fertility prior to cancer treatment. She is now pursuing her passion at Stanford Fertility and Reproductive Health and guides her patients through every step of the process.    
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  • There are many reasons why people may choose to explore fertility services that would preserve their ability to have children in the future. Some women may choose to do so for personal reasons such as career advancement. Other individuals may deal with medical conditions such as cancer diagnosed during reproductive age, before they completed or even started to build their families. It is known that certain treatments like chemotherapy or radiation to the pelvis may result in the loss of ability to have biological children in the future. It is very important for everyone who wishes to have a family in the future to understand what fertility preservation options are available to them in the present to help them make the best decision for their unique situation. The Stanford Medicine Fertility and Reproductive Health Services experts are addressing in this podcast the most common questions about fertility preservation to help you choose what is best for you.