For women, fertility means the ability to get pregnant. After some types of cancer treatment, women can have trouble getting pregnant. Preserving fertility after cancer treatment involves doing things before or during cancer treatment to raise a woman's chances of getting pregnant later on.
There are three main types of cancer treatments that can cause fertility problems.
Chemotherapy and radiation can damage or destroy eggs in the ovaries. As a result, women might stop having periods or have irregular periods. Also, radiation can damage the uterus, which can make it hard to carry a pregnancy.
Not everyone who gets chemotherapy or radiation will have fertility problems. With chemotherapy, it depends on the medicine and dose a person gets. With radiation, it depends on the dose and part of the body treated.
You should let your doctor know before you start your cancer treatment. In some cases, treatment that has a lower chance of affecting future fertility might be available.
Yes. Different things can be done to help women preserve their fertility.
If you are getting chemotherapy, options include:
If you are getting radiation, options include:
If you are going through both chemotherapy and radiation, all of the above might be options for you.
The best way to preserve your fertility depends on your cancer, treatment, age and individual situation. Talk with your doctor about your different choices. To make your decision, you might want to think about:
If you still can't get pregnant after cancer treatment, you have other choices.
Couples can have a tough time making these decisions. You might find it helpful to talk to a counselor or go to a support group for people who are facing the same issues.
Yes. There are two main things that can be done to help men preserve their fertility.
The best way to preserve your fertility depends on your cancer, treatment, age and individual situation. Talk with your doctor about your choices. To make your decision, you might want to think about:
If you still can't father a child after cancer treatment, you have other options.
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