A field of medicine is concerned with minimising the adverse effects of cancer treatment (such as chemotherapy or radiation) on the reproductive system and fertility and assisting individuals with reproductive impairments resulting from cancer therapy. Oncofertility procedures may include using donor eggs or sperm when impaired fertility follows cancer treatment.
During CANSA (Cancer Association South Africa) Care week, there is a significant focus on Oncofertility, so we are focusing on this dreaded disease and how, when faced with cancer, what treatments are available to you so that you can potentially preserve your fertility.
Cancer is a heart-breaking disease with several people facing extremely challenging (and sometimes life-changing) decisions when it comes treatment, so by choosing a perfect egg or sperm donor, may just be the light at the end of a very sullen tunnel.
1st – 7th August is CANSA Care Week, so we are highlighting the importance of understanding what Oncofertility is and why considering egg donation could make your dreams of starting a family come true.
Is it possible to fall pregnant if I have Cervical Cancer?
After most treatments for cervical cancer, it is rarely possible to fall pregnant. This is because you may have to:
- Have surgery to remove your womb (a radical hysterectomy)
- Have radiotherapy as part of your treatment that affects the womb and may stop your ovaries working
Would I have a chance of falling pregnant if I am in the early stages of Cervical Cancer?
If you are in the early stages of cervical cancer, it may be possible to have surgery to remove cancer without removing the womb. This means it would be possible to become pregnant in the future, using donor eggs.
What cancer treatments are available in the early stages of Cervical Cancer?
An option for early cervical cancer (small stage-1 cancer) is a Radical Trachelectomy. Your doctor (gynaecological oncologist) will remove most of the cervix and the upper part of the vagina. They will then put a permanent stitch around the internal opening of the cervix to hold it closed.
What cancer treatments are available with advanced Cervical Cancer?
If you have advanced Cervical Cancer, your only option would be to go through radiotherapy and or chemotherapy.
Having radiotherapy to treat cervical cancer does affect the womb. Radiotherapy and some chemotherapy drugs can also affect the ovaries, bringing on early menopause.
Occasionally it’s possible to move the ovaries out of the treatment area before radiotherapy begins, to try to avoid early menopause. This is done by keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery.
Most often, the best option, in this case, would be to use donor eggs. The donor eggs could then be used using a surrogate via donor egg IVF.
If you or any of your loved ones are battling cancer, be sure to reach out to CANSA, as they are committed to connecting people facing cancer with info, assistance and emotional support needed in our communities. Their aim is to ensure that cancer survivors and their loved ones don’t face cancer alone; their main goal is to support you through every step of their cancer journey.
Love and Light,
For legal advice regarding surrogacy, speak to our Fertility Lawyer, Andrew Martin before your treatment.