Egg freezing before cancer treatments preserves fertility
At Fertility Answers, we know that getting a cancer diagnosis is beyond difficult. You may feel afraid and overwhelmed, and wonder how you will cope in the short term and achieve your life goals in the long term. You have our sympathy. We are here to help you consider how to preserve your fertility before getting cancer treatments.
Freezing your eggs before you start cancer treatments will give you better odds of getting pregnant in the future. While it’s possible you may still have viable eggs after cancer treatment, it’s certainly not assured because chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer treatments can destroy eggs and cause you to enter premature menopause. Your age, type of cancer and treatment approach are factors affecting what’s possible and best for you.
The physicians at our Southern Louisiana fertility center are happy to discuss these considerations. We will explain how egg freezing can help you proactively preserve your fertility. You can protect and retain your eggs and postpone pregnancy until your oncologist finds it safe and appropriate for you and you feel ready to take that step.
Egg freezing takes four to six weeks
Egg freezing at our Southern Louisiana fertility center is a four- to six-week process with steps mostly similar to those used for in vitro fertilization (IVF).
We start with expedited consultation and testing. We review your medical history and conduct ovarian reserve testing. We use an ultrasound and blood test results to determine the right medication dose to optimize egg production during stimulation.
In the cycle preparation and monitoring phase, you may take oral contraceptive pills for two to three weeks before taking hormones. This will synchronize follicle development, lower risks of cysts forming and help with scheduling your cycle.
Next are hormone injections. You’ll give yourself daily hormone injections to stimulate follicle growth. Most women report discomfort, but no significant pain. The important final trigger shot occurs 36 hours before egg retrieval.
Egg retrieval involves an ultrasound-guided collection of the fluid in the egg-containing follicles from both ovaries. You’ll be under light sedation.
Vitrification is a process in which the large amount of water that eggs contain is replaced with a solution that prevents formation of ice crystals.
Results and next steps are covered promptly. We’ll tell you the number of mature eggs frozen.
Your frozen eggs will be viable for years. When you have medical approval for it and are ready for pregnancy, we will thaw some or all of your frozen eggs and fertilize them via intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). We will culture the embryos in our laboratory and transfer one or two of the best ones into your uterus. Your physician will monitor you for signs of pregnancy.
Contact us to learn more about egg freezing
If you have questions about egg freezing, please contact us. We can answer your questions so you can evaluate egg freezing as a way to preserve your fertility and work around cancer treatments. We can help you achieve your goals.