Children: Preserving the Ability to Have (Fertility)
To protect against infertility caused by chemotherapy, radiation treatment or surgery, it is possible to bank eggs, sperm and fertilized eggs (embryos) for later use. Banking eggs is still considered to experimental even though the process has been shown to work.
In general, the guideline is not to get pregnant until at least 2.5 years post.treatment. Talk to your medical team if you want to get started earlier.
For an idea about the risk to fertility involved with your type of cancer and/or treatment, click here .
If you have health insurance, it is worth checking to find out if your policy will cover preservation. If your policy does cover fertility, it likely covers preservation. However, most policies require evidence of infertility - which is not usually the case when a person wants to use fertility preservation techniques due to an upcoming treatment.
Financial assistance may be available. Call Live Strong: 855.220.7777. Live Strong also offers a fertility discount program. Go to livestrong.org/we-can-help/fertility-services /
Other means of obtaining a child are:
- Using another person's eggs
- Having a surrogate woman carry your child
For information about using another person's eggs or having a surrogate carry your child, speak with your primary care doctor or gynecologist. For information about adoption, click here.
It is natural to be concerned about the genetic risk of passing cancer to your children. If this is a concern to you, testing may be able to determine whether or not an embryo carries the genetic profile for certain cancers. Keep in mind that this testing can only be done when becoming pregnant through the in vitro fertilization process. Eggs are fertilized, and then screened for the disorders prior to implantation.
NOTE: Imerman Angels pairs cancer patients, survivors and caregivers with mentors, including young cancer survivors who have had experience with and concerns about infertility. See: imermanangels.org