Female infertility can be caused by ovulation disorders and diseases such as endometriosis, but did you know that breast cancer treatment can result in lasting effects such as infertility? For this reason, women who still wish to have children, but have been diagnosed with breast cancer should consider seeing a New York breast cancer and fertility specialist to improve their chances of conceiving. The following information sheds more light on how breast cancer treatment affects female fertility and the different procedures women can use to preserve fertility.
How can breast cancer treatment affect fertility?
To understand how cancer treatment can affect fertility, you need to know basic information about female fertility. A woman is born with many eggs in the ovaries and does not produce new eggs. The number decreases as one gets older and so does the quality of the eggs.
Treatments such as chemotherapy can cause infertility in young women that are pre-menopause. Chemotherapy involves using different drugs such as alkylating agents, which can reduce the number and quality of eggs in the ovaries and may also alter the functioning of the ovaries. However, the risk of infertility depends on the type of drugs you use, as well as your dosage. Other factors, such as age and your fertility state before treatment, are also determining factors.
What fertility preservation methods can I use?
This preservation method involves obtaining eggs from your ovaries and storing them in below negative zero temperatures. They can be stored for ten years or longer and then thawed and fertilized by your partner’s or donor’s sperm before being implanted in your womb. After ovarian stimulation, specialists collect multiple eggs because the procedure is delicate, and some eggs get damaged during the freezing and thawing process.
In vitro fertilization
IVF is the most effective fertility preservation method, and its success rate has multiplied over the years. It involves freezing an embryo and storing it until one can carry a pregnancy to full term. Ovarian stimulation is usually the first step that causes a woman to release several eggs that a doctor removes. These eggs are then fertilized using your partner’s or a donor’s sperm to form an embryo.
Getting a donor can be challenging and this may delay your treatment process, so you should consider this.
How long before I can get pregnant?
Breast cancer survivors should wait for at least two years before getting pregnant since it is enough time to find any early return of the disease.
How is breastfeeding after breast cancer treatment?
Treatments such as radiation and breast surgery can cause breastfeeding problems. The structural changes as a result of these treatments can reduce milk production. Sometimes breastfeeding can be painful for the mother, and the baby may have difficulties latching. However, most women can still breastfeed after breast cancer treatment. It’s essential to get your doctor’s advice if you are still under treatment such as hormone therapy. You can pass some drugs to the baby through the milk, which can affect the infant.
If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer and are considering fertility preservation, book a session with your doctor at Innovation Fertility Preservation and IVF.