Understanding fertility in cancer patients and your options to become a parent
If you have recently been diagnosed with cancer, the ability to have a child might be something you are concerned about. Fortunately, there are multiple fertility assistance options for you to consider. Read along to learn more.
Cancer treatment and fertility
Your physician may suggest different kinds of treatment such as surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation. It is important for you to know that depending on the type of cancer and treatment, your fertility could be limited.
- Surgery: Surgery may affect your fertility when reproductive organs are involved. Women diagnosed with gynecological cancers may need partial or complete removal of their ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, or vaginal tissue. Men diagnosed with testicular or prostate cancer may need partial or complete removal of their testicles or prostate.
- Radiation: Radiation may affect your fertility when treatment is directed at your pelvic region. For women, radiation can harm their ovarian reserve and increase the chances of miscarriage or pre-term births. For men, it can harm testosterone levels and sperm production rates.
- Chemotherapy: Depending on its intensity, chemotherapy may affect your fertility. For women, it can alter their ovarian reserve and hormone production. For men, it can alter sperm quality and the ability to produce new sperm cells.
Fertility assistance for cancer patients
As previously-mentioned, there is a chance that cancer or cancer treatment end up affecting your fertility. However, thanks to modern science you now have fertility assistance options that allow your dreams of a having a child to still come true.
Fertility preservation entails freezing your healthy sperm or eggs before your cancer treatment starts and using them in the future to try to achieve a pregnancy. Since your own reproductive cells are used during fertility preservation, maintaining the ability to have your own biological child is this option’s biggest highlight.
If you want to learn more about fertility preservation for men or fertility preservation for women, you can follow the links to our webpage on this subject.
In vitro fertilization
In vitro fertilization, also called IVF treatment, involves working with a clinic to fertilize an egg with a sperm cell within a laboratory facility. Once an embryo forms, a physician places it within the uterus hoping it implants and grows into a baby. If cancer treatment harmed your ovarian reserve but you still have a healthy uterus, this option gives you the opportunity to carry your baby.
Donor sperm and donor eggs
Healthy men and women who want to help others have generously donated their sperm and eggs for others to use in a variety of fertility treatments. By using donor sperm or eggs your future donor-conceived child will still have a genetic relation to your partner and/or other children. It is also a great option for you if you were unable to store your sperm or eggs before cancer treatment. Click the buttons to have a look at our donors.
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Surrogacy or gestational carrier
Nowadays, healthy women can carry other people’s babies through surrogacy or gestational carrier. It involves finding a female willing to get pregnant, completing legal contracts, and transferring an embryo created via IVF into the carriers’ womb. Your own frozen eggs or sperm, donor eggs, or donor sperm can all be used in this process. If cancer or cancer treatment ended up affecting your uterus, this might be an excellent option for you to consider.
If you are experiencing infertility after cancer or cancer treatment and would like to use Cryos on your path to parenthood, feel free contact us. We can also recommend you read this blog post on how to cope with male infertility. Our friendly Customer Care Representatives are ready to answer questions about your options and can be reached by phone at (407) 203-1175 or by email at [email protected]. A live online chat system is also available on our website.
We are happy to be a resource for you and your future family!