Preparing for breast cancer treatment means different things for different people. Some individuals use the time to handle time off from work or to create a financial plan. For women with a breast cancer diagnosis who want to have children, preparing for breast cancer treatment also means considering methods of fertility preservation. Fertility preservation is a way for women to protect their eggs during cancer treatment so that they are able to have their own biological children in the future.
Fertility Preservation Options
Because cancer treatment can negatively impact a woman’s egg reserves, freezing eggs is often the go to method of fertility preservation. An egg freezing cycle uses fertility medication that promotes maturation of multiple eggs. Once those eggs have reached the desired size and maturity, they are removed during an outpatient procedure. The harvested eggs are reviewed for quality and viability and the eggs that are suitable for fertilization are frozen and stored until they are needed in the future. In order to do this preservation method, women must have the time to do an egg freezing cycle prior to beginning cancer treatment.
Freezing embryos takes egg freezing a step further. Before they are frozen, the eggs are fertilized with the sperm of a woman’s partner or sperm donor. The resulting embryos are then frozen and stored until a woman is ready to use them to start a family.
Ovarian Tissue Freezing
This relatively new fertility preservation method harvests the ovarian tissue that houses immature eggs. A small section of ovarian tissue may have hundreds of eggs, which are then frozen and stored. There is no need to wait for maturation and this procedure may be done when a woman has a short timeline before she needs to start treatment. Additionally, this procedure may be performed on young girls who have not yet reached puberty. Once a woman is ready to start a family, the ovarian tissue can be returned to her body where it will begin functioning normally.
For additional information on fertility preservation methods or to start the process while preparing for breast cancer treatment, contact the experts at 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.