What Do Cancer Patients Need to Know about Fertility Preservation?
A cancer diagnosis is an understandably overwhelming experience. Newly-diagnosed cancer patients are often bombarded with information, medical options, and plans for treatment. Only in recent years have oncologists approached the subject of fertility and family planning and fertility preservation with patients who are hoping to conceive in the future.
For younger cancer patients or those who plan on building their family after treatment, this conversation is not only important, but an essential part of treatment. Your options may depend on how swiftly treatment is needed, but it is important to know that there are options available to preserve fertility and conceive after successful cancer treatment.
How does cancer affect my fertility?
A person’s fertility can be affected by cancer in two ways: either the cancer exists in the reproductive system or cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation negatively impacts fertility. Both situations can occur at the same time, depending on your diagnosis and treatment plan.
How can I protect my fertility before starting cancer treatment?
The most important thing a cancer patient can do is address their concerns about fertility and future family planning with an oncologist as soon as possible. If your oncologist recommends that you are a good candidate for fertility preservation, then you will need to reach out to a fertility specialist and seek a consultation.
What is fertility preservation?
Fertility preservation is the cryopreservation, or freezing, of gametes, embryos, and gonadal tissue. Women are able to freeze their eggs, men are able to freeze their sperm, and couples may freeze embryos for later use. At Chelsea Fertility of New York City, we assist female cancer patients with the egg freezing process.
Am I a good candidate for fertility preservation?
Your candidacy for fertility preservation will be determined by your oncologist and a fertility specialist. In certain cases, the need for cancer treatment is simply too immediate to delay chemotherapy or radiation for the time required to complete fertility preservation. Your oncologist will provide a thorough recommendation for immediate treatment or if treatment can be delayed. For others, fertility preservation is an ideal option to help ensure that they will be able to have a baby once treatment is complete and they are given a clean bill of health.
If you are interested in learning more about your fertility preservation options, contact the fertility specialists at Chelsea Fertility NYC.