Fertility Preservation in Cancer Patients

People do not always believe that they need to preserve their fertility after they are diagnosed with cancer. However, it is important to know that cancer treatments could impact your ability to have children. The fertility preservation options are vast and plentiful, but the vast majority of these options must be undertaken before any cancer treatments.

Which Cancer Patients Should Be Looking Into Fertility Preservation?

Patients that want to preserve their future ability to have children: This applies mostly to younger, healthy individuals.

Will My Treatment Have Any Short Or Long Term Side Effects On My Reproductive System?

There are many types of cancer treatments, and some treatments can put stress on certain tissues of the reproductive system (such as the testicles or ovaries), resulting in inability to have a child.

What Are My Fertility Preservation Options Before Treatment?

There are several fertility preservation options available (sperm freezing, testicular tissue freezing, egg freezing, embryo freezing, ovarian tissue freezing, etc.) before you begin any cancer treatment. These fertility preservation options can be done when your cancer is diagnosed, when you are in early stage cancer.

What Are My Parenthood Options After Cancer?

Women who choose to preserve their eggs before the cancer treatment can use it to become pregnant after the cancer treatment through IVF. When a woman has no healthy eggs, she can use eggs from a donor. The process is called egg donation. Donor eggs can come from someone you know well, such as a sister or friend.

Another option to have a child is a surrogacy. A woman may use her own eggs, or the eggs of a donor, in the process. A surrogate can carry the baby to term and may deliver the baby for you after your cancer treatment.

How Safe Is It To Become Pregnant For A Women After Surviving Cancer?

It is very safe to become pregnant after cancer. The two most common cancers - breast and colon - have a long history of safe pregnancies for women after they receive cancer treatment. In some studies, about 80 percent of women with breast cancer who had a chance to become pregnant were able to conceive and have a healthy baby.

Is There Any Risk Of Birth Defects In Children Born To Cancer Survivors?

Birth defects are very rare in babies who have been carried to term by a cancer survivor. More than 99% of babies born to cancer survivors do not have birth defects.