Fertility preservation in female cancer patients: An overview

Fertility preservation in female cancer patients: An overview

Fertility preservation is extremely important in cancer survivors. It is generally said that the fertility preservation should be done ideally before the commencement of cancer therapies. It is recommended to preserve the fertility in cancer patients to maximize the efficiency.

Fertility preservation is generally done in cancer patients because the chemotherapy and radiotherapy will have a negative impact on the reproductive potential of an individual.  The fertility preservation mainly depends on the morbidity and mortality associated with cancer.

Cancer Therapy and Fertility

The basic common treatments required for treating any type of cancer includes the following:

  • Chemotherapy


Chemotherapeutic drugs generally affect the growth of cancer cells by inhibiting the production of cancer cells and their growth. The affect of chemotherapy on fertility varies from person to person. The affect ranges from no effect to complete ovarian atrophy.

The degree of damage caused to your ovaries depends completely on the dosage, age and the ovarian reserve. According to the research the prepubertal ovary is less likely to get damaged with the chemotherapeutic drugs. Older women are at high risk of premature ovarian failure when exposed to the chemotherapeutic drugs.

Reduction of ovarian reserve generally occurs due to the death of growing follicles. The risk of ovarian damage is more due to the fibroma of stromal blood vessels.  The risk of ovarian failure post chemotherapy is determined by the following factors:

  • The dosage and type of chemotherapeutic drug taken
  • The age of the patient at the time of treatment
  • Radiotherapy


Radiotherapy has a negative impact on your ovary and uterus whereas chemotherapy only affects the ovaries. Human oocyte is very sensitive to radiation and can get damaged easily when exposed to radiation.

Exposure to radiation generally leads to reduced vascularity and cause damage to myometrium resulting in fibrosis and hormone-dependent endometrial insufficiency. The risk of miscarriage, preterm labor, intra—uterine growth retardation and infertility are more, if conception occurs within a year of radiotherapy.

Fertility Preservation

The common ways of fertility preservation include the following:

  • Embryo cryopreservation


For embryo cryopreservation, you need to go through the in vitro fertilization treatment. This preservation technique can be done only in married women because a sperm sample is required for oocyte fertilization. The success rate of embryo cryopreservation completely depends on the number of quality embryos are stored after fertilization.

  • Oocyte cryopreservation


This preservation method is used for unmarried women as it does not require fertilization. To maintain reproductive anatomy, oocyte cryopreservation is the best option in unmarried women. You need to go through an ovarian stimulation for oocyte cryopreservation.

  • Ovarian tissue cryopreservation


During this preservation method, ovarian cortical tissues are required that are rich in primordial follicles. Cryopreservation is done by dissecting the ovarian tissue into small fragments and by slow cooling technique or vitrification.

  • In vitro maturation


In this preservation method, immature oocytes are aspirated. Immature oocyte can be collected in the luteal phase. This preservation technique is mostly used in the patients suffering from polycyctic ovarian syndrome.

To prevent female infertility in cancer patients, it is recommended to get yourself diagnosed. Early diagnosis is required for an early female infertility treatment.

Hegde fertility center is the best fertility center in Hyderabad. This fertility center is known to have the best infertility specialist who can carry out the fertility preservation for cancer patients.

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