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What is Fertility Preservation?
Fertility preservation is an emerging field associated with reproductive medicine that offers treatment aimed at protecting future reproductive ability for individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses as well as a convenient option for young couples who intend to delay pregnancy.
It is the process to help patients retain their fertility or ability to have their biological offspring by saving or protecting their reproductive tissue or gametes like eggs for females and sperms for males.
Fertility Preservation – Can I get a Benefit?
Fertility preservation can benefit people who:
● Have cancer before undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy
● Want to delay having children
● Have a family history of early menopause etc.
Some cancer treatments can cause infertility (inability to have a child) or decrease your fertility (ability to have a child). The fertility risk of cancer treatment depends upon the following parameters:
● Age and sex
● Fertility problems before treatment
● Type of cancer
● Type of treatment
When to Ask For Referral?
When Diagnosed with cancer irrespective of age and gender, consider your fertility risks, even if you are not sure you want to have children. A fertility consultant is a doctor who specializes in fertility problems and can help explain your options for preserving fertility.
Couples who want to intentionally postpone their family planning must visit a good Fertility Centre to discuss their fertility options.
Timing is Important!
Fertility preservation methods can take as little as 24 hours for men, and methods for women now take less time than the 2 to 4 weeks needed in the past. Please guide anyone you may know diagnosed with cancer to consult with a reproductive medicine doctor immediately for counseling or visit a fertility center before the cancer treatment starts.
What are My Fertility Preserving Options?
There are various techniques for saving the gametes and reproductive biological tissues for both men and women whether they are prepubertal or adult. Please consult a good IVF Clinic to have detailed counseling with the reproductive medicine doctor to help you make an informed decision and choose the right method for fertility preservation.
It's always recommended to take a second opinion with the experts.