Fertility Treatment For Men and Women
If you are going to have a cancer treatment, you probably need to have your fertility preservation. You should understand this option before starting your cancer treatment. The treatment of cancer has a major impact on fertility. They harm the fertility. The harm to the fertility by the cancer treatment depends on the type of cancer you have along with your age and also the type of treatment you will have. You must have many questions about this treatment option for your fertility. Male fertility is harmed if the testicles are removed surgically or if a man is having chemotherapy or radiation that affects the quality and quantity of sperms.
Female fertility is lost when the uterus or ovaries are surgically removed. The cancer treatment can also affect the hormones, eggs, the functioning of the uterus, ovaries or the uterus.
Fertility preservation for women
Egg or embryo freezing
The advances in reproductive technologies have offered more options and choices for women in building families than before. Oocyte cryopreservation or egg freezing is the most popular option. The eggs are frozen for future use. This is a very flexible family planning. This is done not only in case of cancer treatment but there are various reasons for this option like
- Premature ovarian failure
- Decline in ovarian function
- Delaying child-bearing for any reason
This treatment option is similar to IVF. Embryo freezing involves the freezing of fertilized egg. Embryo freezing is a very established option with more success rate.
When the radiation is applied to an area that is not close to the pelvis then the shields are used to protect the reproductive organs from the radiation exposure.
Ovarian transposition (oophoropexy)
In this process, the ovaries are repositioned surgically before radiation therapy so that they get away from the place of radiation. But this procedure is not effective in case of scattered radiation. The ovaries have to be repositioned again after the treatment.
Male Fertility Preservation
Just like female fertility preservation, there are options for male fertility preservation. In this procedure the sperms of the male partner are stored and are used in future. This is done because some men are not able to have children after having the cancer treatment. The infertility in men is the condition when a man is unable to produce sperms. The cancer does not cause infertility but these are the treatments that cause infertility in men. Though, the sperm start producing after the treatment of cancer but you can talk to your doctor if you want to have your fertility preservation or not.
The common treatments that cause infertility include
- Radiation therapy: It slows down the production of sperms
- The alkylating chemotherapy: This is the most fertility damaging procedure. It consists of some drugs that harm the fertility.
- Surgery: If the surgery is done for the treatment of prostate or bladder cancer through removing the prostate and seminal vesicles. The pathway for sperm cells to be included in the semen is also cut.