Last month, Real World/Road Rules Challenge contestant Diem Brown, 30, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer for the second time. She must have her one remaining ovary removed in a few weeks, but first, she is undergoing an egg retrieval procedure with the hope of freezing her eggs. "I know the risks I might be taking with hormone shots as a current ovarian cancer patient," she told PEOPLE exclusively. Brown will be documenting her journey for PEOPLE.com.
Soon after Julie and Bill VanDerworp got married in 1993, they started trying to have a baby. Although she was 27 and he was 30, the young couple was unable to conceive a child. Eventually they tried fertility drugs and procedures. Still, no baby. As the years passed, they tried conceiving with an egg donor. But it wasn't until they turned to a donor whose eggs had been frozen with new technology that she finally got pregnant. Late last year, after spending nearly $200,000 and trying for more than a decade, the VanDerworps gave birth to a son they named Kent.
Advocating for Reproductive Rights of the Cancer Patient
As a patient advocate for fertility preservation, I am spending much of my time these days negotiating with insurance companies to cover egg, embryo and sperm freezing for our cancer patients. I am growing weary of the letters I receive stating “Procedure is not a covered benefit. Basis of decision: Infertility.”
When Dr. Sara Beers hit her 30s without a husband, she decided to create her own modern family. She adopted Maddie 6-years-ago, then she had Jack three years later via in vitro fertilization. The baby bump in her belly now is truly unique. "Little baby Oliver," Beers said. "He came to be from a frozen egg."
Cancer treatment can sometimes lead to infertility, but young women are less likely than young men to be informed of that risk, a new study suggests. Swedish researchers found that of nearly 500 cancer survivors ages 18 to 45, most men -- 80 percent -- said their doctor had told them their chemotherapy could affect their future fertility. But only 48 percent of women said the same, the team reports in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
A procedure that’s gaining acceptance in the medical community offers an additional option for women who want to delay childbearing and is becoming an increasingly meaningful piece of the fertility business in North Texas, doctors and fertility experts say. Oocyte vitrification is a technique of rapidly freezing a woman’s unfertilized eggs, said Dr. Jerald Goldstein, medical director of Fertility Specialists of Texas, which has locations in Dallas and Frisco.
A new study has found that very few young women with cancer take steps to preserve their fertility while undergoing cancer therapy. Also, certain groups of young women are more likely to do so than others. Published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study indicates that efforts are needed to provide counseling on fertility preservation in reproductive-aged women diagnosed with cancer.
Canada's fertility clinics are offering growing numbers of women the chance to freeze their biological clocks by putting eggs — and, in some cases, embryos — into cold storage until they're ready to have a baby. Research published this week found that nearly half of the fertility clinics that responded to a survey are offering "social egg freezing." This is the first study to describe the status of "oocyte cryopreservation" in Canada.