Jul 1, 2010
Posted in Fertility
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A Cancer Survivor’s Guide on How to Get Pregnant – Part II



The niggling query ‘how to get pregnant’ is no more a bother as greater choices for fertility preservation now exist following cancer therapy.

In-Vitro Egg Maturation or IVM

During this procedure, collections of undeveloped eggs from un-stimulated ovaries are done and their maturation is then performed in the laboratory prior to fertilization. This process does not involve ovulation and might ultimately eradicate the requirement of fertility medications at the time of in-vitro fertilization. Researchers from the Hadassah Univ. Hospital, Jerusalem stated that they have achieved success in maturing eggs in the laboratory from women cancer sufferers as juvenile as 5 years of age. The eggs are then frozen to be used for imminent fertility therapy. Yet investigational, this method provides optimism of future conception and parenthood to infancy cancer cases that presently have quite a favourable outlook, however mostly need belligerent chemotherapy which can make them infertile.

Ovarian (Ovarian Tissue) Transplant

Removal of either ovarian tissue (in good health) or the entire ovary is done before the onset of chemotherapy and then re-introduced inside the body of the female on conclusion of her cancer therapy. Re-insertion of ovarian tissue is then done in the former location or in another spot in the abdominal region, arm or at times other regions. This method is yet investigational and globally only 8 conceptions have been possible employing this method (though 3 of these concluded in miscarriage).

Radical Trachelectomy

This operative method is in use for treating preliminary staging cervical cancer, as a substitute to the benchmark hysterectomy (uterus being removed). In trachelectomy, the cervix is removed (uterine neck opening) however sparing the uterus. Chances of conception over a 5 year period have been observed to cross fifty percent among females who have undergone this procedure. There have also been around a hundred conceptions leading to live childbirths till date among females who underwent trachelectomy procedure.

Egg Donation

Women cancer survivors with undamaged uterus and wondering how to get pregnant could opt for egg donation from another female. Egg fertilization is then done in the laboratory (in-vitro fertilization) using sperm from the mate of the cancer survivor. The cancer survivor or a surrogate could then carry the fetus to full-term.

Medication-Induced (impermanent) Menopause

The medication ‘Cetrorelix’ causes suppression in ovarian functioning and appears to have a shielding effect on ovaries at the time of chemotherapy. Study researchers from the Royal Women’s Hospital, Australia carried out a small-scaled trial wherein the medication for suppressing GnRH or gonadotropin-releasing hormone was used that stimulated ovulation. The medication use was halted after chemotherapy concluded. From the eighteen study candidates, ninety-four percent of them were able to recover their fertility and recommenced natural, month-by-month menses within a year’s time. Yet investigational, further research is necessary.

Expenses and the Guarantee of Fertility Preservation

In-vitro fertilization and cryopreservation are costly and start from approx. ten thousand dollars for IVF alongside yearly maintenance charges for freezing the egg or embryo. However several Non-Profit organizations like Fertile Hope offer reproductive info as well as backing to females diagnosed with cancer.

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

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