Fertility preservation is the process of storing sperm, eggs, embryos, or other reproductive tissues in order to have a child later.
In the case of cancer, the treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc., may damage your ovaries, directly impacting your fertility.
Your ovaries may also be damaged due to your work being abundant with toxic chemicals and materials (like in a chemical-related factory) or you serving in the military, rendering you infertile. But if you decide to preserve your fertility, you’ll be able to delay the childbearing and also continue with your work.
Your infertility may also be due to some benign conditions like endometriosis, non-cancerous tumors or uterine fibroids, which may be causing you to be at risk for premature ovarian insufficiency. That means your ovaries will stop producing oocytes or eggs earlier in your age than usual.
According to health administrations worldwide, fertility preservation has grown popular in recent times for several reasons. Premature ovarian insufficiency and infertility may not be the only causes of concern while considering fertility preservation. However, whether you take this decision by choice or as a last resort, fertility preservation is fast becoming an excellent option for delaying childbirth.
Fertility preservation is a technique of preserving or protecting your sperm, eggs, embryos or other reproductive tissues so that you can have biological children. Simply put, this technique can help you preserve your ability to have a child in the future.
You may opt for this technique before undergoing a treatment procedure like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc., as they may damage your fertility. The most common fertility preservation procedures are:
If you have been diagnosed with cancer and are about to undergo treatment procedures, you may have a few queries about fertility preservation. We at Siya Health will tell you all about how the cancer treatment procedures may impact your fertility and what you can do to preserve it before the treatment starts.
Generally, fertility preservation is opted by people suffering from serious illnesses, disorders or who are about to undergo life-altering procedures such as a gender change. Other than that, here are a few people who may opt for this procedure:
If you fit in one of the categories mentioned above, you may want to consult with your fertility doctor about having fertility preservation.
There are several options for fertility preservation for both males and females. Here are a few options for males:
Here are a few options a female may adopt for preserving her fertility:
But some of these preservation techniques will only be for the individuals who have reached puberty. Your doctor will recommend a suitable approach after a thorough consultation.
Many kids throughout the world are adversely affected by cancer. As a parent, it becomes imperative that you think about their future. As soon as they are old enough to understand the concept of fertility, it should be discussed with your children affected with cancer and receiving cancer treatment. The doctor will take your consent before proceeding with fertility preservation.
After puberty, the fertility preservation techniques will be sperm or eggs cryopreservation. For girls with cancer, who haven’t yet reached puberty, the suitable treatment would most probably be ovarian tissue cryopreservation. In this process, the doctor will surgically remove the ovarian tissue to be frozen and then thawed and reimplanted in the future.
For the boys undergoing cancer treatment before puberty, the doctor may perform surgery to remove the testicular tissue, which is then frozen, to be reimplanted in the future.
The patient should be made aware of the adverse effects of cancer treatments on fertility by the doctor during the initial consultation. It is quite a significant issue, which should be discussed.
Here are a few points that should be discussed during the treatment discussion:
If there is a risk of infertility, and fertility preservation is being performed to prevent it, the points mentioned above must be discussed.
There are currently no instances or evidence that may depict harm to the success of cancer treatments due to fertility preservation techniques. But there is a chance of your cancer worsening because of the delay in the treatment due to fertility preservation.
Although there is no apparent risk of your cancer recurrence because of the fertility preservation techniques, reimplanting the frozen tissues may reintroduce the cancerous cells depending on the cancer type.
Here are a few questions you, as a patient, must ask your doctor:
Other than the questions mentioned above, as a woman, you may ask if you will enter premature menopause post-treatment and if it will be temporary or permanent.
Cancer is one of the most terrible diseases around the world. There are several treatments available for cancer, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of these treatments tends to be infertility. If you are an individual who wants to have a child in the future, you may opt for fertility preservation. This process can help you preserve the eggs, sperm or embryos for future child conception attempts.
A few of the factors that may go into choosing fertility preservation are:
If you have any other queries regarding fertility preservation, please consult the Fertility experts at Siya Health, or call our Siya Fertility Counsellor today.
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