A cancer diagnosis is frightening, and if you are in your child-bearing years, you may be wondering how it will affect your fertility. The fertility specialists at RCC in Mississauga discuss how cancer treatments may affect fertility as well as ways to preserve fertility in order to build a family after cancer treatments have ended.
If chemotherapy is recommended, it may damage a woman’s eggs depending on the woman’s age, the type of drugs used, and the dosage. Younger women usually have more eggs, so it may be possible to get pregnant on your own after chemotherapy if you are under 35 years old.
Targeted and immune therapies are becoming more popular for treating cancer, but there is not much evidence of their effects on fertility. Radiation therapy damages ovaries, and/or eggs. Surgery can also cause infertility depending on which part of the reproductive system has been affected. Hormone therapy may cause birth defects or stop ovulation.
As soon as you receive a cancer diagnosis, it is important to speak to your cancer team and a fertility doctor. They will be able to guide you on fertility preservation options before undergoing cancer treatments. If you want to grow your family and cancer treatment is not pressing, RCC fertility clinic in Mississauga has a few options to preserve your fertility:
- Sperm and Embryo Freezing: Freezing sperm and embryos are very common now, and there are no known increased risks of genetic problems in children born from frozen sperm or embryos.
- Egg Freezing: Female patients with cancer may be offered the option of freezing their eggs if their treatment may compromise the future fertility potential of their ovaries and eggs. Once frozen, eggs do not age, but the younger a patient is when she freezes her eggs, the better the quality of her eggs.
If the cancer has progressed too far or it will put the patient at risk by waiting to preserve his or her fertility, other options may be available, such as adoption, surrogacy, or using donor egg, sperm, or embryos.
Although growing your family might look different after cancer, our caring physicians are here to help make it happen. Contact us to schedule a fertility appointment at RCC in Mississauga.