Getting diagnosed with cancer at a younger age should never serve as a deterrent for becoming a parent and making a dream into reality. Oncofertility and fertility preservation are designed, taking into consideration of the reproductive desire of cancer patients who come out cured after treatment. In case, of female cancer patient or a survivor, the oocytes will be preserved and even ovarian tissues in certain cases.
Similarly, in the case of a male patient healthy sperm will be preserved before they venture into further treatment for cancer. The thus preserved oocytes and sperm will be used in the fertility treatments later.
Fertility preservation is also recommended for the patients who had undergone multiple surgeries, endometriosis, exposed to gonadotoxic chemicals, getting treated for autoimmune disorders, suffering from various critical blood disorders, cancer or surgery involving reproductive organs, severe trauma caused due to accident, delay in marriage or postponement in having children, transgender planning surgery, undergoing hormone therapy.
The success depends on the age of patient at diagnosis, type of cancer and its survival rate.
Either oocytes or embryos freezing requires IVF hormonal stimulation and egg retrieval under anesthesia. It requires min 12 to 14 days for the adequate stimulation. In the advent of recent protocols any day treatment can be started as these patients have very little time before surgery or chemoradiation.
For sperm or testicular biopsy in men, even 24 hrs to 48 hrs for elective freezing is enough or as an emergency procedure it can be carried out intraoperatively.
Younger children also need to think of freezing and saving their reproductive materials. This needs counselling and parental support.
At Dr. Rela institute we run a Oncofertility clinic weekly where IVF specialists along with oncologists consult, discuss and provide you the best fertility preservation options.