When a shocking diagnosis like cancer reaches us, the first concern of our physicians and relatives is to decide what appropriate treatment we should undergo as soon as possible.
Going through such a difficult time in our lives, we may not always have information and clarity about all the alternatives of a suitable treatment and its side effects. Most of us have heard that in the course of treatment we may temporarily lose our hair, but not all of us know that we may also lose our ability to have children. Strong medications that kill cancer cells, in many of the cases affect the delicate tissues of our ovaries and testes. Exposure to ionizing radiation may have the same harmful effects.
Perhaps you will say– who is thinking of pregnancy and having a baby when you have to fight with cancer!
However, when we take into account what we are going to scarify in our fight with cancer, the thought that after completing our treatment and being cured, we will not be able to have children, may kill our last hope and courage.
Most importantly, you should know that not every treatment irreversibly affects fertility. However, when this risk has been confirmed, modern medicine may help you to preserve your chances of having a baby, after you have overcome the cancer.
The modern methods of assisted reproduction can make it possible for you. These methods allow your genetic material to be extracted and stored long enough until oncologists confirm that you are now healthy again and able to plan pregnancy and childbirth.
While in boys and men the collection of genetic material for cryopreservation is quick, easy and relatively inexpensive procedure, the removal of mature eggs from a woman’s ovary is far more complicated. This process is possible only after a precise study of the reproductive status of the girl and taking into account her cancer therapy. When the girl has a permanent partner, the couple may choose instead having some eggs preserved, first to have In vitro fertilization and embryo cryonization.
The collected sperm cells, eggs or embryos are frozen by special technology and stored in a cryobank at ultralow temperatures, ensuring the preservation of their viability over a period of several years.
Depending on how soon should begin the treatment of the underlying disease and how the particular cancer reacts to the sex hormones, it is determined whether it will be possible the patient to undergo a controlled hormonal stimulation of the ovaries in order a larger number of mature oocytes to be obtained.
In each particular case should be taken into account all the medical details of interdisciplinary advice, provided by experts in oncology and reproductive medicine. Our Interdisciplinary committee of experts meets for sessions every month in Nadezhda Hospital.
The initiation of a procedure for preserving the fertility of the patent depends entirely on the specific medical status of each patient and what works best for the patient - cancer treatment is life-saving and there are not many cases when it could be delayed even for a week!
When deciding on your treatment, the medical specialists in oncology have taken their decision with the only goal of preserving your life and restoring your health.
If our specialists in reproductive medicine have a "window" and room for preserving your chances of having your own child, we will do everything possible to enable them.
We will let you postpone or cancel your basic cancer treatment - there are many ways in which you can become a good parent - we are ready to help you find your way!