Cancer treatment and fertility preservation
If our reproductive medicine specialists have a “window” and a field of action to preserve your chance of having your own children, we will do whatever it takes. We will not let you delay or refuse the main treatment – there are many ways for a person to become a fulfilling parent – we are ready to help you find your way!
When faced with a startling diagnosis, the first concern of doctors and close ones is to begin appropriate treatment as soon as possible.
At this difficult time, we do not always have information and clarity about all aspects of the forthcoming treatment and its side effects. We have all heard that we may experience intermittent hair loss, but not all of us are aware that we may also lose our fertility with i. The powerful cancer cell killing drugs many times also inflict a harm on the tender tissues of the ovaries and testicles. Ionizing radiation may also exert harmful effects.
This is possible with the help of stat-of-the-art methods of assisted reproduction. These allow your genetic material to be extracted and stored until oncologists confirm that you are healthy again and you can plan a pregnancy.
For boys and men, collecting genetic material for cryopreservation is a quick, easy and relatively inexpensive procedure, retrieving mature eggs from the ovaries is far more complicated and the procedure is only possible after a precise assessment of the patient’s reproductive status, and coordination with her primary therapy. When a woman has a steady partner, the couple may prefer, instead of storing eggs, to first perform in vitro fertilization and freeze the embryos.
Collected sperm, eggs, or embryos get frozen using special technology and stored in a cryobank at ultralow temperatures, ensuring their vitality is preserved for several years.
Depending on how soon treatment of the underlying disease is to start, and on whether or not the particular carcinoma is sensitive to the effect of sex hormones, controlled hormonal stimulation of the ovaries to produce a larger number of mature eggs might be or might not be possible.
For each individual case, all medical details must be considered and taken into account by an interdisciplinary board, including specialists in oncology and reproductive medicine. This board exists and meets on a monthly basis in Nadezhda Hospital.
Whether to proceed with a fertility preservation procedure or not depends entirely on the medical specifics of each individual case, and on the best interest of the patient – anti-cancer treatment is life-saving and cannot be delayed in every case, not even by a week!