Jun 29, 2010
Posted in Fertility

A Cancer Survivor’s Guide on How to Get Pregnant – Part I

Cancer does not have to necessarily denote infertility and end to aspirations of being biological parents.

Cancer treatment could render both sexes infertile. The ability of bearing children differs vastly according to cancer form and treatment.

Surgery for treating cancers of the cervix, ovaries or uterus could foil a woman’s chances of conception or increase her chances of miscarrying. Moreover, radiation or chemotherapy could have a damaging impact on the eggs of a woman, halting ovulatory function or inducing premature menopause. Cancer could make men infertile while radiation and chemotherapy could have an effect on sperm count and quality.

With increasing survivor statistics, cancer is vastly being tackled alike MS or diabetes. Seven time winner of Tour de France, champion cyclist Lance Armstrong who was given a below 20% chance of surviving, not just managed to beat cancer however additionally opted for freezing his sperms before going through chemotherapy and has successfully managed to father 4 kids since then.

How to get Pregnant with Fertility safeguarding Methods and Choices

Fertility protection has to be taken up proactively by cancer patients preferably earlier on when they are gauging therapy choices. The foremost measure would be informing the oncologist regarding one’s parenthood intentions and asking whether there are effectual medications and therapy methods which have lesser associated risks of making one infertile. The subsequent approach would be visiting an infertility specialist.

In females who would need chemotherapy, it is vital to comprehend that not all medications are the same and there are several drugs which have greater likelihood of causing infertility as compared to the others. But, in several situations, picking and choosing the maximum fertility-preservation drugs while no conciliating with cancer therapy is not possible.

Radiation treatment could additionally harm the reproductive system and endanger fertility. Though the use of lead shield on the pelvis could lower likely harm to the testicular and ovarian functioning, yet such lead shield is modestly effectual in case the cancer is situated near the reproductive system.

Any of the below mentioned fertility preservation methods could be vastly beneficial to female cancer patients with imminent concerns about how to get pregnant.

Ovarian Transposition

It is a form of surgical procedure which is conducted for girls in their pre-puberty phase or women in their childbearing years with threat to ovarian functioning due to radiation therapy. Before therapy commencement, the ovaries are sealed inside the abdominal region for shielding them from the effects of radiation. However, this method is not foolproof and there is a 50-50 likelihood of its capability of preventing infertility. Additionally, this form of surgery fails in working for women among whom chemotherapy is necessary.

Embryo/Egg Cryopreservation

Egg cryopreservation is beneficial for females who have not yet found Mr. Right. Optionally embryos (eggs post-fertilization) could be cryopreserved which have greater chances of surviving the defrosting process in comparison to eggs on their own. Later on, the embryos or eggs (post-fertilization) could be placed within the vagina for conception. In case cancer survivors are not able to conceive post-treatment – for example, due to surgical removal of malignant reproductive organs then embryos/eggs could be planted in a surrogate.

Embryo/egg freezing is a prevalent egg preservation method for females, though not applicable for all. Often time could be spared for the stimulation procedures needed for egg harvesting. Additionally, hormone therapies exacerbate particular cancers which make such a method risky for several females, irrespective of whether they have imminent parenthood plans or not.

Several cancer types like endometrial and breast exhibit hormone sensitivity and feed on estrogen. Due to this, benchmark hormone stimulation to facilitate egg reaping before chemotherapy carries some risk. A couple of fertility clinics have commenced providing a substitute IVF procedure employing Letrozole for stimulating ovulation.

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