To learn your child has cancer is devastating. There are many things to understand and process, including how treating the cancer will impact their lives down the line. One particular concern is how to preserve fertility in children with cancer. Taking fertility preservation steps in children prior to chemotherapy or radiation treatment can help to ensure that he/she is able to have biological children in adulthood.
Preserving Fertility For Children With Cancer
Treatment for cancer can result in infertility. The impact of cancer treatment on fertility is dependent on a number of factors, including:
- The type of treatment being used
- The location of the treatment
- The dosages of the medications being taken
- The age of the patient
- The gender of the patient
- If there were existing fertility issues prior to beginning treatment
Beyond this, each individual will react to treatment differently. Therefore, it is important to speak with your child’s doctor about how to preserve fertility in children with cancer.
Fertility Preservation in Children
Until recently, fertility preservation for children was not possible. Traditional preservation methods required that a woman reach puberty. Fertility medication was necessary in order to retrieve and store mature eggs. Advancements in fertility medicine have changed this. It is now possible to preserve ovarian tissue containing hundreds of immature eggs for the purpose of fertility preservation. There is no fertility medication or waiting period required.
The ovarian tissue is removed, frozen and stored using vitrification, a state of the art method of freezing that avoids the risk of damage to cells by ice crystals. After treatment, the ovarian tissue can be returned to the body, where it will function normally. A girl who had childhood cancer now has the ability to have her own biological children naturally. This technique may also be used in teenagers who have reached puberty and adult women when a traditional egg freezing cycle is not possible.
More Helpful Resources From The Fertility Experts
Contact the fertility doctors at New Hope Fertility Center if you’re struggling with infertility. It is important to work with a fertility care team that understands which treatment methods are best for you, considering your specific medical issues. Personalized treatment plans offer the highest success rates and the best overall patient satisfaction.