Learn how fertility preservation for women can protect your dream of motherhood
Cancer treatment has come a long way, allowing many people to live long and healthy lives after their initial diagnosis. However, treatments like chemotherapy and radiation have the unfortunate consequence of harming both male and female fertility. Thankfully, a cancer diagnosis doesn’t mark the end of your journey to parenthood. That’s because our Austin fertility doctors offer fertility preservation for women.
Exploring the most common oncofertility options for women
Advances in both egg and embryo freezing mean that our team can help patients preserve their fertility using oncofertility. This term refers to the interdisciplinary field of cancer treatment and fertility care.
Women who are preparing to undergo chemotherapy or radiation can undergo egg freezing or embryo freezing before they begin cancer treatment.
- Egg freezing involves taking ovarian stimulation medications and undergoing a short outpatient procedure to retrieve the mature eggs from the ovaries. Embryologists then freeze the eggs for the patient’s later use. The entire process takes about two weeks.
- Embryo freezing also involves medications and an egg retrieval procedure. However, instead of freezing the eggs, the embryologists fertilize them with sperm. They then freeze the resulting embryos for the patient to use for family building later.
In some cases, patients may be able to pursue fertility preservation for women even after beginning chemotherapy or radiation.
When a patient is ready to use their eggs or embryos, they will schedule an appointment with our Austin fertility doctors. Together, the patient and their doctor will design a customized treatment plan using the preserved eggs or embryos.
Fertility preservation for women extends beyond egg and embryo freezing
If a woman doesn’t want to freeze her eggs or embryos, she can explore other options to protect her fertility. For example, some women may elect to have treatment with medications like Depot Lupron. The goal is to minimize the adverse effect of the cancer therapy on the ovaries.
Other women who are going to undergo radiation therapy may opt to have their ovaries surgically relocated within the pelvis. Placing the ovaries higher in the pelvis can put them further away from the radiation, which will hopefully minimize the amount of radiation they receive.
Regardless of which oncofertility option you select, our Austin fertility doctors are here to guide you through every step. If you’d like to learn more about fertility preservation for women, contact us to schedule an appointment. When you reach out, please let us know that you have a cancer diagnosis so that we can expedite your treatment.
Discussing Medical Fertility Preservation for Oncofertility With Dr. Amy Schutt