Receiving a cancer diagnosis for a child is one of the most difficult things a family can deal with. Even when there is a high success rate for treatment, there are often lingering questions about how chemotherapy can impact the child’s life down the line. There are options for fertility preservation the future fertility of children exposed to chemotherapy. Knowing your options prior to your child starting chemo treatment can help you to make well informed decisions about your his/her care.
For girls who have reached puberty and are facing chemo treatment, egg freezing is the best option. The egg freezing process consists of harvesting and storing her mature eggs for future fertilization and implantation into her uterus. In order to accomplish this, fertility medication is given to promote the growth of multiple eggs during a fresh In Vitro Fertiliztion (IVF). Once they are mature, eggs are surgically retrieved in an outpatient procedure. The eggs are then cryopreserved and stored. Once a girl is ready to start a family, the eggs are thawed and fertilized with her male partner's sper in vitro. Once embryos have reached an optimal stage of development in vitro - 3 to 5 days - one or more are transferred to her uterine cavity for hopeful implantation. This process helps to ensure a girl has her own biological eggs available once she’s ready to start a family.
Ovarian Tissue Freezing
This option is available for girls who have not yet reached puberty – or in cases when there is not enough time to do an egg freezing cycle. In this procedure, ovarian tissue is removed from the body. Because of how eggs are stored, hundreds of immature eggs are contained within this tissue. That tissue can then be frozen and stored until it is needed. Once the time is right, the tissue can be transplanted back into her body where it will function as it normally would. This allows a girl to get pregnant through natural means. If this is not an option, the eggs can be thawed and matured in a laboratory setting before being fertilized and transferred to her uterine.
Male Fertility Preservation
Fertility preservation for male children exposed to chemotherapy is accomplished by either cryopreserving sperm for children who have reached puberty or storing testicular tissue for younger boys.
More Helpful Resources From The Fertility Experts
Contact the fertility experts at New Hope Fertility Center if you want to be proactive in preserving your child's fertility. 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.
To schedule your initial consultation today, click the icon below - or - call 917-525-5496.