Breast Cancer and Freezing Your Eggs

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness month, but what does that have to do with your eggs? An unanticipated life event such as breast cancer can endanger a woman's fertility potential because of the exposure to chemotherapy and/or radiation. Such treatments can actually destroy eggs, which is why many women become menopausal or suffer ovarian failure after cancer treatment.

Women now have the option of preserving their fertility so they can create a family in the future, or complete their existing one. When a woman under 38 receives a cancer diagnosis, it is important that she asks a fertility specialist about fertility preservation quickly before she starts treatment, even if it wasn’t on her mind to have children. This enables her to make an active decision about her future fertility.

Advances in egg freezing now make it possible to preserve fertility prior to starting cancer treatment. Fakih IVF, one of the leading fertility centers available today, with branches in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Michigan, has the latest technology to help women preserve their fertility.

Treatment typically begins on the second or third day of menstruation and consists of a regimen of fertility medications to stimulate a woman’s ovaries to produce eggs. The eggs are retrieved from the patient in the same manner as is performed for in vitro fertilization (IVF). The procedure takes about 15 minutes and is done under sedation. The collected eggs are then analyzed and frozen using the latest flash-freeze method called “vitrification”, which is the best freezing method to date. This process does very little damage to the eggs, and can keep the eggs in storage for years until the woman decides to use them for conception. Once the woman is ready to get pregnant, the eggs are thawed and then fertilized with her husband’s sperm and then transferred into her uterus in order to achieve a pregnancy.

Some women with breast cancer may risk some growth of their tumors during IVF cycles because of the high levels of estrogen that result from the hormone shots. In such cases, it is recommended to opt for "Natural Cycle IVF" in which ultrasound tests are used to follow the progress of normal ovulation, and one or sometimes two eggs can be collected. It is good to know that with the wonders of modern medicine, a positive attitude, and some divine intervention, women stricken with breast cancer now have a chance to shape their future.

For any queries related to fertility preservation, contact us by calling 04 349 7600 (Dubai), 02 4444107 (Abu Dhabi) or by email on info@fakihivf.com.