Fertility preservation and egg freezing in Cancer patients!!
Fertility preservation is a key component of cancer management in young patients. Cancer treatment can often lead to reduced fertility. Cancer patients should be informed of options for preserving their fertility and future reproduction prior to their cancer treatment. Reproduction in the context of cancer raises a number of ethical issues related to both patient and offspring welfare. Evidence suggests that cancer treatment often commences without adequate consideration of fertility preservation and that current services could be much improved. Early referral of patients to a fertility specialist will allow consideration and discussion of the full range of fertility preservation options. It’s a multidisciplinary approach which involves specialists in oncology, assisted reproduction, embryology and clinical genetics.
The diagnosis and treatment of cancer often poses a threat to fertility. Methods of fertility preservation are evolving quickly, yet little has been published in the medical oncology literature regarding this topic. Health-care providers should be prepared to discuss the fertility with patients regardless of their age and marital status and their families before initiation of therapy to make them understand the possible reproductive consequences of cancer treatment and know the alternatives available to preserve fertility.
Strategies for fertility preservation in women-
Preservation of fertility is more complicated for women than men.
- Oophoropexy (a surgical procedure in which one ovary or both ovaries are either suspended or disconnected from the uterus)
- Ovarian tissue-cortex and even whole ovary
- Isolated follicles for IVM (In vitro maturation)
- Pharmacological protection with anti-apoptotic agents e.g. Sphingosine -1- PO4
Advantages of Oocyte and Ovarian Freezing:
- Improves the efficiency of IVF (In vitro fertilization)
- Alternative to embryo freezing
- Oocyte preservation for patients with ovarian hyper
- stimulation syndrome
- Oocyte donation programme (for quarantine purpose)
- The treatment of congenital infertility disorders
- Prevent fertility loss through surgery
- Treatment of premature ovarian failure (POF)
- Also in cancer patients prior to exposure to chemotherapy or radiotherapy(fertility Cryopreservation)
- In career oriented females who want to plan family later due to other commitments
- In case the male partner is not available or not able to give semen sample (ED/refuses)
- In cases of TFF, especially when repeated risk is there- half of the oocytes can be cryopreserved to find out the reason for TFF (as to whether egg or sperm)
What was the actual purpose to begin with?
The mechanism of freezing women’s eggs was initially introduced for female cancer patients who run the risk of losing their fertility during the treatment. However, the technique is now widely availed by women across world for non-medical reasons. This trend is gaining traction tremendously, with an exponential sky high surge in the same.
At Milann, we are proud to offer our patients the most advanced equipment, world-class facilities and latest technology to meet the growing needs for fertility preservation.