Ovarian Cancer & Fertility: What to Know
If you’ve been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you already have plenty to worry about – from surgery and the following treatment to how you are going to cover the cost. So when women with ovarian cancer learn that their treatment plan may cause them to become infertile, it is yet another blow that can cause stress and worry. But how does ovarian cancer and its treatment impact fertility? And are there any family building options for women after completing treatment? In honor of World Ovarian Cancer Day this year (May 8th), our fertility experts are going over everything you need to know regarding ovarian cancer and fertility.
Different Treatment Plans Can Have Different Impacts on Fertility
Depending on your particular type of ovarian cancer, your treatment plan and its impact on your fertility can vary. For some women, their type of ovarian cancer can require a full hysterectomy – removal of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus – making it impossible to conceive naturally. While a full hysterectomy may not be necessary, it is possible the both ovaries may need to be removed, leaving the uterus intact, or in certain occasions one ovary may not be removed. If you are able to keep one ovary, the remaining ovary may still provide you with the ability to conceive and prevent you from going into premature menopause.
Another concern for women undergoing cancer treatment is the impact of chemotherapy on their fertility when only one ovary needs to be removed. In some cases, chemotherapy can damage the remaining ovary and increase the risk of earlier menopause.
Speaking With Your Oncology Team
Regardless of your treatment plan, you should consult with you oncology team if your future fertility is a concern. They will likely refer you to a qualified fertility specialist with experience in oncofertility. At IVF FLORIDA, we have been helping cancer patients preserve their fertility and/or build families using third party options. To learn more about our fertility preservation options, contact us today at 954.247.6200 and schedule a consultation.
Fertility Options Pre- and Post-Treatment
For women with certain types of ovarian cancer, it may be possible to preserve their fertility prior to starting cancer treatment. In these cases, women who are able to delay treatment can bank eggs or embryos for use after treatment. Depending on whether or not you have a complete hysterectomy, the embryos can then be implanted in your uterus or that of a surrogate using IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). For women who are unable to bank eggs or embryos prior to treatment, there is still hope. Use of donor eggs and a surrogate can still enable them to build the family of their dreams.
Thanks to advancements in reproductive technology, a cancer diagnosis doesn’t have to mean the end of your dreams of having a family. If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer and want to learn more about your fertility preservation options, we are here to help. Contact us at 954.247.6200 to schedule a consultation with one of our fertility specialists and learn more.