We all desire to carry our bundles of joy at some point in life, but this may or may not be possible for cancer patients undergoing treatment. Research shows that cancer treatment, especially radiotherapy and chemotherapy, negatively impacts your reproductive organs. These treatments can cause permanent or temporary infertility, denying you the joy of parenthood. Fortunately, California Center for Reproductive Health offers oncofertility Encino, a specialty that maximizes your chances of conceiving while undergoing treatment.
Fertility preservation prevents you from worrying about your ability to get pregnant in the future and helps you focus on your treatment.
What are the negative effects of cancer treatment on fertility?
Cancer treatments, especially chemotherapy, can contribute to temporary or permanent infertility. Radiation, Surgery, and chemotherapy can cause irreversible reproductive disorders even in children.
Before beginning your treatment, the specialists at California Reproductive Health may discuss the possible effects of the treatment on your fertility. In men, radiation therapy near the pelvis or abdomen may affect testosterone levels and sperm count, causing infertility. This therapy can also cause pituitary gland damage, lowering sperm and testosterone production. Surgery for pelvic cancers such as prostate, bladder, rectal, and colon may damage these reproductive organs rendering you unable to have children.
In women, chemotherapy can damage the ovaries, preventing the release of eggs and the production of estrogen. Radiation therapy near the spine or pelvis may destroy the pituitary gland, interfering with estrogen production, which is necessary for ovulation and reproduction.
Is a hormonally sensitive cancer patient eligible for ovarian stimulation?
If you are interested in undergoing ovarian stimulation, inform your doctor, who can determine if it is safe for you. The California Center For Reproductive Health team offers proven safe protocols to take care of hormonally sensitive cancer patients.
Your provider may add aromatase modulators like letrozole if you are a breast cancer patient interested in fertility preservation. Aromatase modulators don’t interfere with your cancer treatment, and your survival rates are no different from women that are not into fertility preservation.
Is it mandatory to have a partner for fertility preservation?
At California Center For Reproductive Health, you don’t need a partner to proceed with fertility preservation. With advanced medical technology, specialists can perform vitrification, where your provider freezes your eggs in a glass-like state without interfering with water crystal formation. Frozen eggs are a long-term fertility preservation method, and you can use them in the future when you are done with cancer treatment or are ready to build a family.
Is it safe to carry a pregnancy after you are in remission?
Your treatment plan and the type of cancer you have, determine if you can conceive after you are in remission. Additionally, your reproductive oncologist and endocrinologist coordinate closely to determine the timing of when you can conceive.
Medical research shows no elevated risk or reduced survival chances for breast cancer patients who decide to conceive while in remission. Your provider may monitor you closely to prevent complications and ensure successful delivery during your pregnancy.