Fertility Preservation for Cancer Patients
If you have recently been diagnosed with cancer, it is probable that you have many questions and concerns about the future. One of these questions might be, “Will I still be able to have children?” The Fertility Preservation Program at Providence Fertility Center was designed to help women going through this difficult time retain control of their ability to have children, giving them hope for the future.
Many common cancer treatments like chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation can cause problems with fertility and even sterilization. There is usually only a short amount of time between being diagnosed with cancer and beginning treatment in which your eggs may be successfully harvested and frozen, so it is important to see a fertility specialist immediately, certainly before beginning treatments.
Your health is our main priority, and the Fertility Preservation Program prioritizes your need for egg freezing from the moment you contact us. We will require your oncologist to give written permission for you to undergo this procedure and will collaborate timing with treatment planning.
Step 1: Preparation and Approval During your first visit with one of our Providence fertility specialists, you will undergo a physical examination, blood test, and pelvic ultrasound. Your physician will also be able to answer any questions you might have about the egg freezing process. You will provide your oncologist’s written permission for you to undergo this process, and our oncologist will also review your file for your safety.
Step 2: Ovarian Stimulation For about ten days, you will take fertility drugs that encourage your body to produce several eggs at one time. The growth of the eggs will be monitored at this time using ultrasound and blood tests. At the end of this period, you will receive a hormone injection to help your eggs reach full maturation.
Step 3: Egg Retrieval Less than 36 hours after receiving the final hormone injection, you will have your eggs removed vaginally, using ultrasound guidance and a hollow catheter. This process takes no more than 30 minutes under light anesthesia. Usually after an hour of recovery, you will be able to return home with someone who can drive.
Step 4: Egg Freezing Directly after being removed from your body, your eggs will be frozen until you decide you would like to proceed with conception and pregnancy.