A girl is born with 1 million eggs. After hitting puberty, hormonal glands stimulate eggs in the ovaries to mature. Every month one mature egg is released in the fallopian tube. This process is termed as ovulation. In case the egg gets fertilized by the sperm, it begins to divide and may form into an embryo. The embryo passes into the uterus and gets implanted, resulting in a natural pregnancy. But, as women age, the number and quality of eggs start decreasing. With fewer eggs, she faces difficulty getting pregnant
After cancer treatment, women who haven’t started their family planning or want to get pregnant again may find it difficult to conceive naturally. The effects of chemotherapy and reproductive organs exposed to the radiation take a toll over her reproductive health and quality of eggs.
Effects of Cancer Treatment on Fertility
What are your fertility options after cancer treatment?
Doctors from the best fertility clinic in Pune, Saishree IVF, recommends that patients who undergo cancer treatment should wait for a year to allow their ovaries and body system get healthy again. Some of the effective ways to have children after cancer treatment include:
Natural Conception: Some women may get pregnant naturally after her cancer treatment. But, if you have been trying to conceive for 3-6 months with no sign of pregnancy, visit an infertility doctor. The infertility specialist will examine whether or not you can conceive a child or will need an ovarian stimulation.
Ovarian Stimulation: In some cases, the doctor finds out that the woman has healthy eggs left in her ovaries but needs some medical help to become pregnant. We then suggest an ovarian stimulation treatment such as IUI (Intrauterine Stimulation) or IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization). In these procedures, you will be given daily injection shots of hormones to stimulate the eggs. When the eggs become mature, your doctor will suggest a blood test to determine which one of the treatment (IUI or IVF) can best achieve a good result.
Use the frozen eggs: If you have frozen your healthy eggs or sperm before the cancer treatment, you can use them to get pregnant. You and your doctor may decide how many eggs should be thawed. The frozen eggs are then fertilized with the male partner’s sperm or donor sperm to create embryos. The embryos are transferred to the uterus using a catheter. The women have to wait for the initial signs of pregnancy, after her embryo transfer procedure.
Using donor eggs: If a woman cannot become pregnant and haven’t frozen her eggs, she can use healthy eggs from a donor. Although the child won’t be carrying your genetic legacy, you will experience the joy of getting pregnant and experiencing childbirth. Many couples choose a donor egg or sperm if they wish not to transfer any disease or hereditary traits to their child.
Using donor embryos: Women who went through a successful IVF pregnancy and had some unused frozen embryos can be asked to donate to a woman in need of getting pregnant.
Surrogacy with a gestational carrier: If a woman cannot carry a pregnancy after her cancer treatment, she can ask another woman to carry her child for nine months and deliver it successfully. The child will be genetically yours and shall have no genetic relationship with the other woman. However, surrogacy laws are very complex. Many states consider it illegal to attempt surrogacy. Before starting the process, talk to your infertility specialist, do your proper research, and then decide whether or not you are ready for a surrogacy method.
To learn more about infertility treatments and procedures, feel free to get in touch with the country’s leading fertility experts at Saishree IVF