Both men and women can have significant impact on fertility. Especially women diagnosed with gynaecological cancer or going through its treatment may face problem of infertility. The another major concern is most of the of gynaecological cancers occur in young women desirous to retain the unaffected uterus and ovary. But now with the advancement in cancer treatment it is possible to preserve fertility. Fertility preservation treatment can be done which can preserve your reproductivity system from cancer or its treatment.
What is effect of cancer treatment on fertility?
Cancer treatment may lead to temporary or permanent infertility in some cancer patients. The effect on fertility is based on several factors like age, type of cancer, stage of cancer, the drug prescribed, the location of the radiation field etc. Besides, it can also affect eggs, hormone levels, and the functioning of ovaries and cause infertility. In some patients, depending on severity, it is required to remove complete uterus or ovary.
How fertility preservation methods are useful?
Fertility preservation is very beneficial for women undergoing cancer treatment and willing to become parent in future. It is possible in germ cell ovarian tumours, borderline, and benign ovarian tumours treatment, fertilization preservation surgery (sparing the uterus and the other ovary) is possible. For germ cell tumours treatment requiring additional chemotherapy cycles may consider the ovum/embryo preservation in coordination with the infertility specialist team. Fertility preservation surgery (radical trachelectomy) is a feasible solution for women diagnosed with early-stage cervical cancers with small tumour sizes (<2cms). It is also preferred in low-risk endometrial cancers (uterine cancer).
Fertility preservation methods:
Women especially young ones diagnosed with gynaecological cancer opt for fertility preservation treatment.
Following are some fertility preservation methods in gynecological cancer treatment:
- Egg freezing: Egg freezing is a method used to save women’s ability to get pregnant in the future. In this process, the ovaries are stimulated using hormone medication, injected over for 8–12 days, to produce multiple eggs in one cycle instead of a single egg. These eggs are harvested from ovaries and are frozen unfertilized and stored for later use.
- Embryo freezing: In this process, the embryo is freeze and stored for future use. The frozen embryos are later thawed, as needed, for future use in IVF. This method is elected by many women to preserve fertility during cancer treatment. It is quite similar to egg freezing. Once the eggs are retrieved, they are immediately fertilized with sperm and then are carefully allowed to develop under close observation.
- Gonadal shielding:In this method, protective shields are carefully placed to prevent the reproductive organs from ionizing radiations.
- Ovarian transposition:In this fertility preservation method, the ovaries are repositioned surgically to safeguard them from the planned radiation field. It is useful for women is undergoing radiation therapy and not chemotherapy. Once radiation therapy is completed, the ovaries might require repositioning.
Fertility preservation is a great option for women diagnosed with gynaecological cancers who wish to preserve their fertility. At Prolife Cancer Centre, we totally understand how importance of fertility in woman’s life. Our skilled and experienced team of oncologists are well adept in performing various fertility preservation surgeries. We provide personalised care to ensure that cancer or its treatment does not leave any impact on fertility.