Understanding Fertility Preservation Before Cancer Treatment

Cancer Treatment

If you are young and diagnosed with cancer, it is not a death sentence. Lucky enough, there is hope for your family plans. Fertility preservation allows you possibly to have a child after your treatment. You can seek help from Dr. Kutluk Oktay in New York, a medical expert with extensive reproductive endocrinology and fertility preservation expertise. Dr. Oktay will help you understand your options and how each can benefit you. Besides, Dr. Oktay will help you understand the connection between your fertility and cancer treatment. Additionally, here is information on fertility preservation and cancer treatments.

How Your Fertility is Affected by Cancer Treatments

If you are diagnosed with cancer and are worried about your fertility, know that not all forms of cancers affect your ability to bear children. Also, not all cancer treatments will affect your fertility. But specific treatments can harm your fertility, causing effects that can be temporary or permanent. It depends on the type and stage of your cancer, your age, and the particular cancer treatment you are undertaking.

Surgical treatments: your fertility will be affected if your ovaries, uterus, or testicles are surgically removed.

Radiation: your fertility can be affected depending on the location and size of the radiation field. Also, high radiation doses can destroy some or all of your eggs in your ovaries.

Chemotherapy: the effects of these treatments depend on the drug and dose. Alkylating agents and cisplatin drugs cause the most damage to fertility. Older women are at a higher risk of being affected than younger women.

Hormone Therapies: the medications used during this therapy can affect your fertility. However, the effects are reversible, and your fertility might be restored once the treatments stop.

Best Time to Consider Fertility Preservation

It would be good to talk to your provider about fertility preservation as soon as you learn about your condition. Your provider will help you understand different treatment options, some of which may require you to postpone your treatment if possible. This is because a single cancer therapy session is enough to destroy your fertility. Besides, specific fertility preservation methods are typically done at certain phases of your menstrual cycle.

Preservation Options

Several fertility preservation options may benefit you as you plan to begin your cancer treatment. They include:

Embryo Cryopreservation

Your eggs can be harvested, fertilized, and frozen to be implanted later. It is on record that embryos can survive the process at a 90% rate.

Egg Freezing

Instead of fertilizing your eggs, they can be frozen unfertilized. However, research shows that eggs’ survival rate is more minimal than a human embryo.

Radiation Shielding

When going for radiation treatment, small lead shields can be placed over the ovaries to minimize the amount of radiation you are exposed to.

Ovarian Transposition

This is also applicable when you are undertaking radiation therapy, where your ovaries can be surgically repositioned into the pelvis area out of the radiation field. However, the ovaries may not always be protected due to scattered radiations. Besides, you will need to have your ovaries repositioned after your treatment.

Surgical Removal

This can be applicable when managing early-stage cervical cancer. It involves removing the cancerous area on your cervix, leaving the unaffected part and the uterus unharmed.

Fertility Preservation for Men

Men can also preserve their fertility as they seek cancer treatment. You can benefit from sperm cryopreservation which involves the freezing of sperms to be used later. You can also benefit from radiation shielding, where lead shields are placed over your testicles to minimize their exposure to the radiation.

Contact Dr. Oktay today to learn more about fertility preservation before cancer treatment and know your suitable option. Remember, there is hope you can continue your family plan after your treatment.