Each year, 70,000 women who might want to have children one day are diagnosed with cancer. Most of these women will go on to live healthy and happy lives for years to come. However, cancer treatment (like surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation) can cost a women her chance to have children later on, if she doesn’t prepare beforehand.
A woman makes all her eggs before she is even born, and this means that over a lifetime, the number of and quality of these eggs gets worse. Cancer treatment hurt those eggs even faster.
Thankfully, medical breakthroughs over the past 20 years have changed the game. Together with a fertility specialist, it is possible to preserve your ability to have children before starting cancer treatment, with a procedure known as “egg freezing.” So when you’re ready, you can grow your family.
Egg freezing has been the “standard of care” in fertility preservation now for several years, and after numerous studies, it’s clear it’s the best option for women to protect their ability to have children one day. It usually takes about two (2) weeks to harvest eggs to freeze, but fortunately, it will not hurt your ability to fight the cancer. There is no increased risk of the cancer spreading or of harmful side effects. It is a safe and effective option that all patients interested in future family building should discuss.
While egg freezing is the first-line standard of care in fertility preservation for cancer, there are also other options worth considering as well. In addition, it is important to understand what costs may be covered by insurance or other assistance, and what may be required out of pocket. If you’re wondering where you stand, or want more information about your egg reserve and options for preserving your fertility through egg freezing, contact a fertility specialist at such as my group at Fertility Answers.