Often, it is the cancer treatments that may impact your fertility. This is because some may require surgery to remove your reproductive organs, and some may require chemotherapy, which can reduce the ovarian reserve.
Discuss your options with an oncologist first, as some treatments may come with unwanted hormonal effects.
(For men, sperm or testicular tissue should be stored before any cancer treatment.) Women have a few choices:
The embryos are obtained through Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) or In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and hormone injections are required followed by egg/ oocyte retrieval. The eggs are then fertilised with sperm, and the formed embryos are frozen for future use.
Eggs may now be frozen with minimal damage using a technique called vitrification, and are thawed when needed for fertilisation. This method has resulted in healthy pregnancies. Ovarian tissue can also obtained via minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, and is transplanted back into your body when required – it has resulted in several successful live births.
Fertility-preserving cancer treatment may be possible in the early stages of cervical or ovarian cancer, while hormonal therapy may be considered to induce cancer regression in the early stages of endometrial cancer.