Shining a light on fertility preservation during Breast Cancer Awareness Month
The compassionate team at our Indianapolis fertility center want to use Breast Cancer Awareness Month as a time to educate. We want patients to learn how they can preserve their fertility before starting cancer treatment. There are several methods that can help patients save healthy eggs or embryos that they can then use for having children after breast cancer treatment.
Understanding fertility preservation during Breast Cancer Awareness Month
When patients need chemotherapy to treat breast cancer, their eggs might experience damage. However, there are two primary ways that a patient can prevent chemotherapy from limiting their chance of having children after breast cancer treatment.
Egg freezing. Many patients choose to freeze their eggs before starting cancer treatment. Egg freezing is a simple process that involves the patient taking ovulation induction medications until enough eggs mature. A doctor then retrieves the eggs during a short procedure. The doctor then sends the eggs to a lab where a specialist flash freezes them for later use.
Embryo freezing. When patients are with a partner who they would like to have children with, or they want to use a sperm donor, our Indianapolis fertility center can help them with freezing embryos. Like egg freezing, this option also includes ovulation induction and egg retrieval. Next, the doctor sends the eggs to a lab. There, an embryologist fertilizes them with sperm from the patient’s partner, or a sperm donor. A lab specialist then freezes the resulting embryos.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the ideal time to reach out to our clinic to learn whether egg or embryo freezing is the right choice for you.
What happens when the patient is ready to start having children after breast cancer treatment?
When a patient with frozen eggs completes cancer treatments and is ready to have a baby, a specialist thaws their eggs. An embryologist then fertilizes the eggs with sperm from the patient’s partner or a sperm donor. A doctor at our Indianapolis fertility center then transfers one of the resulting embryos into the patient’s uterus.
When a patient with frozen embryos is ready to start their family, a lab specialist thaws one of the embryos. A doctor then transfers the embryo into the uterus, where it hopefully develops into a healthy baby.
Our staff hopes that Breast Cancer Awareness Month serves as an impetus for patients with breast cancer to explore how they can preserve their fertility. With the right support, having children can be an option for breast cancer survivors. Contact us for more information about having children after breast cancer treatment.