Dr. Jyoti Ranjan Swain

Impact Of Cancer Treatment Of Future Fertility & Ways To Preserve Fertility While On Cancer Treatment.

Impact of cancer treatment of future fertility & ways to preserve fertility while on cancer treatment.

Cancer is a complex disease that affects not only the physical health but also the emotional and psychological well-being of the patient. One of the major concerns of cancer treatment is the impact it can have on fertility, especially in younger patients who have not yet completed their family planning. In this article, we will explore the impact of cancer treatment on fertility and the ways to prevent or preserve fertility in cancer patients while on treatment.

Impact of cancer treatment on fertility:
Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery can have a significant impact on fertility. Chemotherapy drugs can damage the ovaries or testes, affecting the production of eggs or sperm. Radiation therapy can also damage the reproductive organs, leading to infertility. Surgery may involve the removal of the reproductive organs, such as the ovaries or testes, resulting in permanent infertility. The impact of cancer treatment on fertility depends on various factors such as the type of cancer, the stage of cancer, and the treatment protocol used.

Ways to prevent or preserve fertility in cancer patients while on treatment:


    1. Fertility Preservation(Egg and Embryo Freezing)
      Fertility preservation is a process that involves freezing eggs, sperm, or embryos before cancer treatment. This can be done through in vitro fertilization (IVF) or sperm banking. It allows cancer patients to preserve their fertility and have the option of having children in the future. Fertility preservation is recommended for cancer patients who have not yet completed their family planning and are at risk of infertility due to cancer treatment. Egg and embryo freezing are two of the most common options for fertility preservation. Egg freezing involves extracting a woman’s eggs and freezing them for future use. Embryo freezing involves fertilizing the eggs with sperm and freezing the resulting embryos. Both options require ovarian stimulation with hormone medications to increase the number of eggs produced.
      Egg and embryo freezing are viable options for women who have not yet started cancer treatment, as the process takes a few weeks. Men can also preserve their fertility through sperm freezing.

    1. Ovarian Suppression:
      Ovarian suppression is a medical procedure that involves temporarily stopping ovulation during cancer treatment. This is done using medications such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs. Ovarian suppression can protect the ovaries from the harmful effects of chemotherapy drugs and preserve fertility in women.

    1. Radiation Shielding:
      Radiation shielding is a technique used to protect the reproductive organs from the harmful effects of radiation therapy. This can be done by using lead shields or other types of protective devices during radiation therapy.

    1. Fertility-sparing Surgery:
      Fertility-sparing surgery is a surgical procedure that aims to remove cancer while preserving reproductive organs such as the ovaries or testes. This can be an option for some cancer patients, depending on the type and stage of cancer.

    1. Ovarian Transposition
      Ovarian transposition is a surgical procedure that involves moving the ovaries away from the radiation field during radiation therapy. By moving the ovaries, the risk of damage to the reproductive organs is reduced. This option is only applicable for women who require radiation therapy.

    1. Testicular Sperm Extraction:
      Men undergoing cancer treatment can have their sperm extracted directly from their testicles. This procedure is called testicular sperm extraction (TESE) and involves surgically removing a small piece of tissue from the testicles. The sperm are then extracted from the tissue and frozen for future use.

Cancer treatment can have a significant impact on fertility, but there are ways to prevent or preserve fertility in cancer patients while on treatment. Fertility preservation, ovarian suppression, radiation shielding, and fertility-sparing surgery are some of the options available for cancer patients who want to preserve their fertility. It is important for cancer patients to discuss their fertility preservation options with their healthcare provider before starting cancer treatment.

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