Fertility preservation is a process of safeguarding your fertility in later days. Several factors can influence the call for fertility preservation, including cancer treatments. If you are scheduled for chemotherapy or other treatments that can affect your fertility, it is an excellent time to explore your fertility preservation options. Celebration fertility preservation specialists at the Center for Reproductive Medicine can help you understand which option is best suitable for you. Besides, here are several facts about fertility preservation options that can help you know how to choose the right one for you.
First Things First. How Do Cancer Treatments Affect Your Fertility?
Before you go for the fertility preservation options, you might be wondering how your treatment will affect your fertility or if there is any need to seek a fertility reservation. Some cancer treatments have indeed been found to affect your fertility in different ways as outlined below.
Chemotherapy: the effect of chemotherapy will depend on the drug and dosage used. However, alkylating agents and cisplatin drugs are notoriously known for causing the most damage.
Surgery: the treatment procedure may involve removing the ovaries or uterus in women and testicles in men, depending on the type of cancer being treated.
Radiation: high doses of radiation are harmful to the eggs on your ovaries and may destroy some or all of them. This treatment can be more damaging than chemotherapy. However, it depends on the location and size of the treatment area.
Other cancer medications: Some hormone therapies are used to manage certain cancers, including breast cancer, affecting fertility. However, the effects are usually reversible, and fertility might be restored once the treatment is stopped.
Fertility Preservation Options
Several fertility options are available to preserve your fertility at later times. The options’ choice is affected by several factors such as the cancer treatment plan urgency and duration. Besides, some fertility preservation options are done in certain phases of your menstrual cycle. Therefore, it is vital to consult a fertility preservation expert as you might be required to delay your cancer treatment if not urgent based on the timing. The options include:
This is also known as oocyte cryopreservation. It involves the harvesting of your unfertilized eggs and freezing them. However, it is good to note that human eggs do not survive freezing well as human embryos.
This is where your eggs are harvested, fertilized, and frozen. As mentioned earlier, embryos can survive freezing more than eggs, and they can be implanted at a later date.
When you are undergoing radiation treatment, shields can be placed over your ovaries to prevent them from harm. The shields reduce the amount of radiation being exposed to the ovaries minimizing the damages.
This is also applicable when you are undergoing radiation therapy. It involves repositioning the ovaries to the pelvis out of the radiation field. However, due to scattered radiations, the ovaries might not always be protected. After treatment, the ovaries will be repositioned back to their position for you to conceive.
Surgical Removal of the Cervix
When managing an early stage of cervical cancer, a large portion of the cervix can be removed, including the cancerous area. The remaining part of the cervix and uterus is preserved.
There is more to explore about these fertility preservation options. Contact your provider at the Center for Reproductive Medicine today and learn more.