Dr. Alicia Huff was only 25 years old in 2009 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After negotiating with her school to allow her time off for treatment, the next issue she had to deal with was a potential loss of fertility because of chemotherapy. It was an issue she had to explore and one she thinks needs more discussion with young patients of childbearing age.
To read more of the IRMS Are You Trying to Conceive? blogs, CLICK HERE.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. What does breast cancer have to do with fertility? Breast cancer treatment often involves exposure to chemotherapy and/or radiation. Chemotherapy and radiation can dramatically increase your risk for infertility. Both of these treatments can destroy eggs — so much so that many women may become prematurely menopausal after cancer treatment. Women who do not undergo premature menopause may still suffer from significantly compromised ovarian function after cancer treatment.
The good news is that many women are surviving cancer. Cancer treatments have become so successful, it now makes sense to talk with many patients about life after cancer. For young cancer survivors, that often means talking about fertility preservation so cancer survivors can have a family in the future.
Freezing eggs for one's own future use has become a growing trend, with an estimated 5,000 women nationwide making use of the technology, according to Dr. Daniel Shapiro, medical director of the egg bank at Reproductive Biology Associates in Atlanta. but while freezing your eggs may be an insurance policy, it's an expensive one. It costs thousands of dollars (or in some cases, tens of thousands of dollars), and it doesn't always work.
Source: IVF New Jersey Dr. Melissa Yih, a fertility doctor at IVF New Jersey, explains the process of egg freezing. Egg freezing gives women a sense of security about their fertility, and is beneficial for women who have been diagnosed with a medical condition that may affect their fertility.
The first in a series of five blog postings in which MeiMei Fox documents going through the process of oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing) last summer in an effort to spread awareness of this fertility option to other women.
Catherine Collins is the first baby born in Central Texas — and only the second birth to be announced in Texas — from a frozen egg. She arrived May 3, almost a year after a woman in Houston used her own frozen eggs to bear twins on May 28, 2010. These two babies are among 1,000 such births worldwide, according to estimates by various groups, but new technology is paving the way for more, said Dr. Kaylen Silverberg, an infertility specialist at Texas Fertility Center in Austin who assisted the Navarre family.
Egg freezing, which has been most commonly performed on cancer patients before chemotherapy hampers their reproductive options, is growing in popularity for women who have been too busy with their professions or too particular about a mate to have a baby in their 20s or early 30s.
To read more of Dr. Laurence Jacob's Fertility Protocol blogs, CLICK HERE.
Female patients newly diagnosed with cancer face tremendous fear and emotional stress. They frequently have to make many important decisions regarding upcoming cancer treatment options in a relatively short period of time. Some have concerns over the potential negative impact of radiation or chemotherapy on their future fertility, while others may be completely unaware of their fertility preservation options.
Vitrification and preserving fertility in Tampa, FL
Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, has been around for several decades; however, it was not very successful until recently. With conventional egg freezing, ice crystals would develop in the eggs. A newer process called "vitrification" has solved the problem of ice crystal formation by cooling at an extremely rapid rate.
As more women postpone motherhood into their 30s, even 40s, they're hitting that age-old constraint: the biological clock. Now, technology is dangling the possibility that women can stop that clock, at least for a while. Dr. Alan Copperman of Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York wastes no time laying out this harsh reality: By the time a woman hits her 40s, 90 percent of her eggs are abnormal. The chances of a typical 40-year-old getting pregnant in any given month? Ten percent. Unless, that is, she gets pregnant with her younger eggs — eggs she had frozen years before.