Fertility options for women after ovarian cancer

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Over 22 thousand women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Those who survive face fertility issues. Not only are they told they have ovarian cancer, but also the treatment that will save their life will kill their hope of having kids.

But there are options for women with cancer.

Dr. Iris Romero, OB/GYN, University of Chicago says, “There’s actually a lot of more options available for women now than there was in the past.” 

Women can not only have their eggs frozen, but also ovarian tissue. Surgeons can transplant the tissue after cancer treatment. Other things women can do include targeted therapy that protects the ovaries, medication that suppresses ovarian function during treatment and fertility-preserving surgery. 

Dr. Romero continues, “I think the most critical step a woman can take is to have a long standing and trusting relationship with her gynecologist.” 

This vital relationship comes in handy when a woman is preparing to have kids and critical when she is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Chemo, not kids, is on the mind of oncologists. So look for an advanced care center where there’s a team of cancer doctors and fertility specialists.

These specialists are charged, Dr. Romero says, “With thinking about this person’s family options when they survive this cancer ten, fifteen years down the road.”

For a woman to become pregnant without reproductive help, she will need only one healthy ovary with enough eggs, one healthy fallopian tube, a healthy uterus and a good level of specific hormones.     

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