Did you know that every two minutes, someone is diagnosed with breast cancer? Conservative estimates suggest that one in eight women will have breast cancer curing their lifetimes. Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis can completely rock your world. While cancer treatment will likely prolong your life, it can damage your ovaries and cause fertility problems.
After processing diagnosis and treatment information, you will want to discuss your options for fertility preservation with your oncologist and a reproductive endocrinologist like Dr. Douglas. If your oncologist determines that you have time for fertility preservation, we can begin the process right away. Fertility preservation involves a couple of options:
A relatively new process, vitrification, or rapid freezing, offers younger women a chance to preserve their eggs for the future. In the past, it was difficult to freeze eggs because eggs contain a great deal of water and they were more susceptible to ice crystallization damage than embryos. Vitrification enables Dr. Douglas to successfully cryopreserve ooctocytes for female patients. Pregnancy rates with egg vitrification, which involves subsequent thawing and fertilization, should produce success rates similar to those of frozen-thawed embryos.
Often, married women or those in a committed relationship opt for this choice. For this process to work, Dr. Douglas will stimulate your ovaries and monitor your condition to produce multiple eggs. At the right time, he will remove the eggs from your ovaries. With embryo freezing, the male partner’s sperm will be combined with the female’s egg in a laboratory setting. Any viable embryo’s that result will be frozen until you are ready to transfer the embryos in the hopes of achieving pregnancy through in-vitro fertilization (IVF).