Having a baby post cancer
The after effects of cancer treatment can be very heart wrenching. Those who have won the war with cancer are just overjoyed with the fact that they are now cancer free. Battling with cancer can be very long drawn out and apart from the physical discomfort and pain, it is extremely taxing emotionally. The post cancer relief is not so much, one of ‘happy to be alive’ but more of a ‘I’m so glad it is over’.
The strong drugs used for chemo therapy has horrendous side effects on a woman’s body and her fertility. To be on the safer side doctors advise a gap of at least 2 years after chemo therapy to allow the expulsion of the traces of all the medication from the body. These strong drugs are very dangerous for a foetus and can cause severe birth defects and abnormalities in the normal development of the baby.
The concept of fertility preservation before any major medical treatment is now becoming more popular as the awareness of infertility is increasing. Women have their eggs frozen for future use. This is a safe option for a number of reasons as one can never tell how the cancer treatment or the strong medication may affect the fertility of the woman.
Options for having a baby
The probability of a natural pregnancy is greatly reduced post cancer. The strong medication has a damaging effect on the quality of the eggs. Usually women find that their egg quality is very poor post chemo therapy, hence making it nearly impossible to conceive naturally.
There are multiple fertility treatment options for women who have undergone cancer treatment and suffered the ill effects of the disease. IVF is the best fertility treatment and the popular choice. Women who are under the age of 35 have the advantage of high probability of success with the IVF procedure.
Baby from frozen eggs: If a woman has had her eggs frozen then a simple IVF procedure can help to make her pregnant. The frozen eggs are thawed and fertilised with the male partners sperm then placed in the uterus. The IVF procedure is a simple and painless way to conceive for women with fertility problems arising due to cancer treatment.
Donor egg: In the event that a woman was not able to freeze her eggs or did not think of the possibility of infertility, there is another option for pregnancy. She can opt for a donor egg. This is an egg sourced from another woman whose profile matches hers. This egg is fertilised with the male partner’s sperm in the lab. The embryo is then transferred to the female partner’s uterus in an IVF procedure.
Damaged or removed uterus: There are women who have had their eggs frozen but post cancer haveended up with a damaged uterus or had to have their uterus removed due to the possibility of cancer. In this kind of case the alternate option is to opt for surrogacy. This is a situation where a surrogate mother will carry the baby to term and then hand over the child to the biological parents after delivery. There is no genetic link between the baby and the surrogate mother.
In vitro Fertilisation has given hope to numerous young women with cancer. It makes them happy to know that they too can have their own child one day. It is comforting to know that after cancer there is a possibility to be able to start a family and lead a normal life.
The doctors at Medicover Fertility Clinic have plenty of experience with post cancer patients and have helped many of them start their families. Cancer can take a lot from you, but Medicover can still help you to have a baby.
20 June, 2017
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