July is the month to talk about Fertility Preservation
This is a subject many people do not know much about!
Fertility preservation gives women, men, children and adolescents an important chance for the future if they are at risk of losing their fertility because of some pathologies, such as cancer, and how they must be treated.
Indeed, some types of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy may have negative effects on the reproductive organs.
The main problem caused in female children, adolescents and women is a reduction in the number of oocytes (eggs). Should the ovarian reserve (the number of eggs in the ovaries) be completely exhausted, menopause occurs irrespective of age.
Similarly, in males of any age, these therapies can stop sperm production permanently, affect sperm quality severely or result in erectile or ejaculation dysfunction.
FIGO President CN Purandare and our Officers state:
"When faced with the diagnosis of cancer that necessitates potentially sterilising treatment for a woman or man, all such patients should be given the opportunity to avail themselves of expert fertility advice and cryopreservation of reproductive material for future use.
National health services should ensure expertise is available to facilitate such interventions and therapies."
The right to establish a family after treatment should be protected by preserving fertility before starting fertility threatening therapies.
To do this you should discuss the issue with the medical team who is looking after you and consult a referral centre, specialised in fertility preservation, as soon as possible, so that the most suitable tailored solution can be found for you.
There are various techniques that give a reasonable chance to protect women’s fertility including the cryopreservation of oocytes, embryos and/or ovarian tissue, temporary ovarian suppression and surgical ovarian transposition. The choice of the most appropriate fertility preservation technique to be adopted for each patient depends on various factors, such as:
- the age of the patient
- the number of follicles within her ovary
- the type of disease and the type of treatment foreseen
- the time window before treatment must be started.
In some cases fertility preservation procedures can be combined to maximise the possibility of success.
In men, fertility preservation involves turning to sperm banking, i.e. the cryopreservation of sperm, before starting the treatment that could damage fertility.
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Authentic Human Stories on Fertility
Hear from Rafaela about having the choice & opportunity to preserve her fertility and her joy at becoming a mum.