It is possible to be a mother after a long illness
There are currently options that make it possible to preserve fertility in women receiving therapies which could harm it
When a woman is diagnosed with a disease, her first wish is to be cured and resume her normal life. To do this, she may need to receive certain therapies that could cause irreversible harm to her fertility and make it difficult for her to become pregnant later. For this reason it is very important that these women are aware of all their options before starting treatment, in order to preserve their fertility and ensure they have the opportunity to make their dream of being mothers come true in the future.
Some examples of diseases which can affect a woman’s fertility –either due to the treatment or the disease itself- are cancer, endometriosis, autoimmune diseases or even surgery for benign problems.
This occurs because the ovary is a sensitive organ that can be damaged when exposed to specific treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or certain immunosuppressive therapies –particularly those used in cancer treatment. After receiving this type of treatment, the number of eggs existing in the ovary may be considerably reduced and the eggs may even have lost their capacity to generate a pregnancy.
Freezing eggs and keeping hope alive
Fortunately, thanks to the progress made in assisted reproductive technology, proven therapies exist today which keep a woman’s hopes of being a mother alive after she has received the treatment.
One of the most tested methods for maintaining fertility is egg freezing –known as oocyte cryopreservation. This technique keeps their characteristics intact and allows the women to use her own eggs to become pregnant when her health allows her to, after being cured of the disease.
At all events, the doctor should decide whether it is advisable to apply this technique. For instance in women aged over 40 a customised evaluation should be made.
The importance of taking fast action
Various medical societies have prepared action guides in relation to these diseases. In actual fact, one of the recommendations is to explain to the patient the options open to her for preserving her fertility.
In such cases it is important to act quickly. EUGIN Clinic is well aware of this, and for this reason we have a protocol in place which is specially designed to ensure that preserving a woman’s fertility does not entail a delay in starting treatment.
For more information, see preserving fertility.