A cancer diagnosis is one of the toughest issues a person can face. Beyond fighting the cancer, women have to consider how treatment will impact their ability to have a family. Treatment for cancer and infertility issues often go hand in hand. Thankfully, women are able to preserve their fertility by freezing their eggs prior to cancer treatment.
Cancer and Infertility
Treatment for cancer can substantially impact a woman’s fertility. Women are born with all of the eggs they will have. The medications a woman takes, including treatment for cancer, impact her whole body including those eggs. Certain cancer treatments can impact egg quality – with the end result being eggs that are not suitable for fertilization and that are unable to be used for pregnancy.
All women of childbearing age with a cancer diagnosis should consider fertility preservation via egg freezing. To do this, eggs are harvested prior to the beginning of cancer treatment. These healthy, unaffected eggs are then frozen and stored until a woman is ready to start a family. This allows women who have undergone cancer treatment to conceive and give birth to children who are biologically their own.
To ensure women get the best care, the fertility care team coordinates treatment with the cancer treatment team. Great care is taken to ensure any medication used does not interfere with any other health concerns. The two medical teams stay in contact throughout the process. The process to harvest eggs includes:
- A woman is given fertility medication so that she is able to produce multiple eggs
- Her body is continually monitored through blood work, ultrasounds, and physical exams to monitor the cycle’s progress as well as her overall health.
- Mature eggs are harvested during an outpatient procedure
- The retrieved eggs are evaluated for health and quality, with the healthy eggs frozen and stored until they’re needed.
For additional information on cancer and infertility or to understand your fertility preservation options, contact New Hope Fertility Center. Please click the link below to enter your information and New Hope will contact you, or simply call 212-517-7676. Thank you.
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