You have probably come across one of our well-detailed guides touching on infertility and its causes. If you’d remember, we slightly touched on the relationship between cancer and infertility. In this guide, we are going to take a look at cancer, its treatment options and their subsequent effects on a woman’s fertility.
A woman may start considering using an egg donor after a series of failed attempts at becoming pregnant. A diminishing aging and egg reserve are some of the reasons attributed to infertility. But have you ever thought of other reasons such as cancer? The recent spree of cancer ailment cases across the world has many concerned about their fertility health.
Though not too common, when cancer attacks critical organs involved in reproduction, doctors may resort to removing the highly affected organs. By so doing, this means that she cannot conceive since her reproduction ability is greatly affected beyond rectification. Therefore if she wants to continue growing her family, she may need to consider third party reproduction.
Aside from damaging your reproductive organs, cancer may also affect your fertility in other ways. As a matter of fact, the cancer treatment options are more detrimental to your fertility than cancer itself. The most common methods of cancer treatment make use of radioactive rays (radiation) and chemotherapy.
Just like any other sensitive body organs, eggs are also designed to withstand extreme conditions but up to a limited point. When subjected to radiations or chemotherapies, the ovarian system tends to absorb excess heat which destroys viable eggs. However, the effects vary from one patient to another depending on their age, egg reserve and personal reaction to radiation and chemotherapy drugs.
Another key thing to note is that the effects of cancer treatment through radiations result to either permanent or temporary infertility. In temporary infertility, the woman will be able to conceive and carry her own child after a few months as they take time to heal. But for those not lucky enough, permanent infertility leaves their motherhood dreams to IVF treatment, fertility preservation, and third party reproduction.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer and are yet to seek radiation and chemotherapy treatments, we recommend talking to your doctor about fertility preservation. Fertility preservation involves egg freezing or embryo freezing before accepting cancer treatments. Fertility preservation helps you and your partner grow your family with babies of the same genetic material. If you have already sought cancer treatment or had your reproductive system damaged by cancer and its effect, we recommend discussing egg donation and surrogacy options. Reproductive Sciences Medical Center aims to help you and your family through this tough time. Contact us now for more information on how to help you continue your family despite cancer.