Preservation of Fertility in Women Diagnosed With Cancer
Amidst all the turmoil of cancer diagnosis and figuring out how to beat it, you and your health care providers commonly forget that the odds are that you will survive your disease fertility rituals for many years to come. Loss of fertility is one of the most disheartening consequences of cancer treatment. This is a guide to all the young women and men diagnosed with cancer on how to preserve their ability to conceive after cancer treatment. Unfortunately, in the real world, you do not get timely information to be able to make an informed decision. Surveys of young women and men indicate that they are very interested in future fertility. Surveys of providers, however, points that in less than half the cases fertility issues are discussed or women are referred for consultation. Interestingly, when women inquire about fertility they are more likely to receive information about future fertility or referral to a specialist.
Call to Action: the notion that ‘I / you got cancer and would be lucky to sort it out’ should not stop young people and their physicians from planning for long term survivorship issues. It is really possible to lead quite a normal life after cancer treatment with thoughtful preparation and consultation with pertinent health care providers
Preservation of Fertility in Women
Who needs it and how its done?
Fertility is a key aspect of the quality of life for cancer patients of childbearing age.
Preservation of fertility is defined as the application of medical, surgical and laboratory procedures to preserve the potential of genetic parenthood in adults and children at risk of sterility before the end of natural reproductive lifespan (Gosden 2009).
Decrease or loss of fertility can take place due to exposure to medication (chemotherapy), radiation or surgery (e.g removal of the ovaries). The American Cancer Society estimates that cancer affects one in each 3 women living in the United States. Modern cancer treatment commonly involve exposure to chemotherapy and sometimes pelvic radiation. Cancer and its treatment though is not the only situation that affect fertility. Fertility can also be diminished by bone marrow transplantation and treatment of kidney disease usually due to lupus (lupus nephritis).
If you are a women or a man living in the United States and recently diagnosed with cancer or another condition that threatens your future ability to mother or father children, this lens is written with you in mind. The odds are you will beat your disease and survive for many years to come. Considering fertility-sparing options before starting disease treatment may greatly enhance your ability to conceive a biological child after cure.
Health Problems that Jeopardize Fertility
Who needs to consider fertility preservation?