Fertility preservation to manage potential medical risks
If you need to have therapy or surgery for cancer or a serious illness, it can create a potential risk to your future fertility – sometimes with a permanent impact. So it is very important, especially if you are younger and want to have a baby sometime in the future, to discuss fertility preservation with your oncologist and fertility specialist before your treatment begins.
For example, women diagnosed with gynaecological cancer may need surgery to remove the tumours, and this may also result in the removal of the ovaries, uterus or fallopian tubes. Chemotherapy can also damage your eggs, and radiotherapy can bring on an early menopause if conducted in the pelvic region.
Freezing eggs to preserve fertility
Depending on the type of cancer you have and your treatment plan, your doctor may recommend freezing some eggs for future use through IVF treatment. We can also freeze embryos, and even ovarian tissue.
Many women across the world are also considering preserving their fertility if they are not in a position to have a baby right now and would like the opportunity to start a family beyond the age at which fertility naturally declines. The same technology is used to help women preserve their fertility whether it is for medical or social reasons. While current local legislation only facilitates egg freezing for medical reasons, many other countries undertake egg freezing for social reasons.
Dr Yeong Cheng Toh, Virtus fertility specialist, explains how egg, embryo or even ovarian tissue freezing can help protect a womans future fertility.
For more information on how the egg freezing process works, please ask your Fertility Specialist.