When a patient is diagnosed with cancer all of their life’s plans are put to a stop. Career, hobbies, family, friends and all aspects of your life become a concern. For men and women of reproductive age, the future of fertility is an overwhelming issue to ponder at this point.
Even if you do not want to give birth to a baby now, fertility preservation is a great option. According to Honolulu, HI IVF physician Thomas Kosasa, MD, “Fertility preservation is a great treatment for women who are going to undergo cancer treatment, because we can take the eggs out before the woman receives treatment.”
Patients must take the time to consider the options for preserving fertility when undergoing cancer treatment. The reason for this is many people undergoing treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy will have the very real possibility of fertility being negatively impacted. Thanks to new technology this does not mean patients need to give up on the idea of fertility completely, but it is an issue that must be carefully planned out preferably before undergoing treatment.
Are You a Good Candidate for Fertility Preservation?
Before going into the treatment plans, you will need to know if you qualify for fertility preservation in the first place. Here are some of the very basic qualifications doctors require of patients considering fertility preservation:
- You must be female.
- You must be a permanent resident or citizen of the United States.
- You must be diagnosed with cancer.
- If you have started cancer treatment already, you do this procedure.
- If you have had chemotherapy within the last six months, you are not a good fit.
- You have consulted with oncologist and reproductive endocrinologist to see if you are a good fit.
What Are Your Options for Fertility Preservation?
If you meet all of these qualifications there are a variety of options for you, all of which should be discussed in detail with a doctor. Here are the three main options for fertility preservation:
- Cryopreservation: Freezing and storing a fertilized egg for later use. The embryo can be implanted in the womb after the patient recovers from the treatment or in a surrogate mother.
- Less Toxic Chemotherapy: There are some drugs available that are less toxic to the reproductive organs, but there is a good chance they are less effective at treating cancer. Discuss with oncologist to see if this is a good option for you.
- Hormonal suppression: During treatment you can essentially have the hormone system shut down to stop the body’s production of eggs. This appears to protect the cells that develop into eggs from the damage of cancer treatment.
Do not give up on hope of reproducing just due to the fact you are undergoing cancer treatment. Consult with a professional to see what options may be out there for you to explore for fertility preservation.
To find more information on fertility preservation, find a doctor in your area and get a consultation to learn more or ask a doctor your fertility questions.
Photo by Jeremy Salmon https://goo.gl/0NiUe6