A cancer diagnosis is tough to receive at any point in a person’s life. The diagnosis is made that much harder for women who are planning to build a family in the future, but know that cancer treatment can cause infertility. As advancements in the treatment of cancer continue, more and more women will be leading successful, fulfilled lives in remission. Thankfully, preserving fertility before cancer treatment is possible. Fertility preservation allows women diagnosed with cancer to have their own biological children after treatment.
Women do not produce new eggs every month. Instead, their bodies mature an egg from the egg reserve they were born with. A woman’s egg reserve is impacted by the things that happen to her body, including treatment for cancer. Unfortunately, in addition to attacking cancer cells, chemotherapy can also significantly reduce the health of a woman’s egg reserve, resulting in infertility. By retrieving and storing healthy eggs prior to treatment, women are able to preserve their future fertility.
Fertility Preservation Methods
There are several methods of fertility preservation available depending on each person’s specific needs.
- Egg Freezing – The egg freezing process is a modified protocol of a Conventional IVF. The woman undergoes a regimen of fertility medications to produce multiple egg follicles. Her eggs are then surgically retrieved, evaluated for quality, and frozen using vitrification. The eggs are then cryopreserved until she is ready to use them. When a woman is ready to start her family, her eggs are thawed, fertilized in vitro, and a quality embryo is transferred to her uterus.
- Embryo Freezing – This method takes the egg freezing process one step further by fertilizing eggs in vitro after surgical retrieval. The resulting embryos are then frozen. When thawed, the embryos can be transferred into the woman's uterine cavity for hopeful implantation.
- Ovarian Tissue Freezing – For women who do not have the time needed to wait for egg or embryo freezing, ovarian tissue freezing takes a different approach. Ovarian tissue containing immature eggs is removed and then cryopreserved. That tissue can be transplanted back into the body where it will thrive and produce a natural egg every month. Or, the eggs produced from the transplanted tissue can be retrieved and matured in a laboratory setting before being fertilized in vitro. Once embryos have been produced to a quality stage, they can then be transferred to the woman's uterine cavity.
More About Fertility Preservation
Contact the Fertility Doctors at New Hope Fertility NYC if you’re facing cancer treatment and want to preserve your future fertility.
It is important to work with a fertility care team that understands which fertility preservation treatment method is best for you, considering your specific medical and personal needs. Personalized treatment plans offer the highest success rates and the best overall patient satisfaction.
To schedule your initial consultation today, click the icon below - or - call 917-525-5496.