Female Fertility Preservation Prior to Chemotherapy Egg Freezing
Prior to the advent of egg freezing, many therapies especially high dose radiation and/or chemotherapy would almost surely severely damage the ovaries and eggs. Most cancer treatments are developed with the knowledge that effective agents selectively target rapidly dividing cells such as the cancer cells, hair cells, the cells lining the gastrointestinal tract, and ovarian cells, especially the eggs. However, there can be wide variations in the “damage” among different women. Some women can develop permanent “menopause” after a single chemotherapeutic regimen.
These women have little hope of producing future children using their own eggs except through the use of frozen eggs. The egg freezing process allows "harvesting" of healthy eggs prior to ovarian damage by cancer treatments or other conditions. Fortunately, egg freezing/thawing allows these patients to hope for a future with their own genetically related children.
Primary care physicians, OB/GYN’s and Oncologists are gradually becoming more aware of the recent breakthroughs in human egg freezing. All patients (male and female) should be educated regarding the reproductive implications of their treatments and given the opportunity to freeze eggs or sperm.
After a woman has been successfully treated for her cancer, and she decides she is ready to pursue a family, she returns to the fertility clinic and undergoes an IVF cycle using her frozen eggs. A healthy woman can support a pregnancy well into her late forties and early fifties.
If you would like more information about this exciting technology, visit the links above ore call our office to schedule an appointment. You can also request a new appointment on-line.