Fertility preservation (FP) is a critical problem for people who are in the reproductive or prepubescent stages of life and are concerned about their future fertility. Any FP intervention should aim to reduce or eliminate the primary illness burden while maintaining or sustaining reproductive health.
Cancer treatment, as well as advanced age, metabolic disorders, autoimmune illnesses, particular surgical operations, and sex affirmation treatments, can all impair fertility potential. Because of breakthroughs in cancer detection and treatment, a paradigm shift concentrating on quality-of-life concerns and long-term survivorship has evolved.
Fertility preservation is a method of conserving a patient’s fertility by storing their eggs, sperm, embryos, or reproductive tissue in order for them to produce biological offspring in the future.
People may seek fertility preservation for a variety of reasons, including:
Reason 1: You’ll be receiving chemotherapy;
Reason 2: You’ll be receiving radiation;
Reason 3: You’ll be getting surgery;
Reason 4: You have a genetic problem that may make it difficult for you to conceive;
Reason 5: Elective/ Social fertility preservation.
It’s worth noting that fertility preservation can be performed in a short period of time, allowing patients to continue with their cancer or other medical treatments.
Every patient and situation are different. There may be one or more suitable options depending on sex, age, and medical condition, as well as the timing of treatment. Make an appointment with a fertility expert if you’re thinking about preserving your fertility. Your expert can assess your situation, explore your alternatives, and collaborate with you to make the best decision possible. If you are thinking about fertility preservation, contact Dr. Banker for fertility counselling; he will guide you in the best way possible.
Now let’s have a look at the treatment options for men and women.
Sperm cryopreservation: A man contributes samples of his sperm in this technique. Cryopreservation is the method of freezing and storing sperm for future use.
Gonadal shielding: Radiation treatment for cancer and other illnesses can affect fertility, particularly if it is administered in the pelvic region. Modern methods are used in certain radiation treatments to focus the beams on a very tiny region. A lead shield can also be used to protect the testicles.
Testicular biopsy: Invasive surgical procedures such as TESA, PESA, micro-TESE, and others can be employed to extract spermatozoa in patients with a low sperm count or males who are unable to ejaculate. Sperm recovered during the testicular biopsy is maintained in this way. This is beneficial for cancer patients who have their spermatozoa cryopreserved prior to treatment. These can be used to fertilize the oocytes and generate embryos once the couple has recovered from cancer or when they are ready.
Embryo cryopreservation: Embryo cryopreservation, commonly known as embryo freezing, is the most common and effective way to preserve a woman’s fertility. The eggs are first removed from the ovaries by a medical professional. In vitro fertilization is a technique in which eggs are fertilised in a lab with sperm from her spouse or a donor. The resultant embryos are frozen and kept for future use.
Oocyte cryopreservation: Unfertilized eggs are frozen and kept in oocyte cryopreservation, which is identical to embryo cryopreservation.
Gonadal shielding: This procedure is comparable to gonadal shielding in men. To protect the ovaries from radiation, measures such as directing rays to a narrow region or covering the pelvic area with a lead shield are adopted.
Ovarian transposition: A health care professional conducts a small operation to relocate the ovaries and, in certain cases, the fallopian tubes from the radiation-exposed area to a radiation-free location. They might be relocated to a part of the abdominal wall that is not exposed to radiation, for example. Ovaries, on the other hand, aren’t usually shielded against scatter radiation. You may need to have your ovaries relocated after treatment in order to conceive.
Some of these treatments, such as sperm, oocyte, and embryo cryopreservation, are only available to men and women who have reached puberty and have mature sperm and eggs. Gonadal shielding and ovarian transposition, on the other hand, can be used to keep a child’s fertility if he or she has not yet reached puberty.
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