Having ovarian cancer and remitting treatment can affect your fertility. Ovaries produce eggs, along with the female hormone oestrogen and progesterone. There are several ways through which ovarian cancer can affect your ability to have children in the future. Cancerous tumours can damage your ovaries and your ability to produce eggs. You may need to have one or both ovaries removed. Chemotherapy and radiation can also trigger early menopause. Menopause is when the ovaries stop producing hormones and women periods stops. Usually, it happens when women are about 50. Having both ovaries removed by an operation will cause the menopause. Similarly, ovarian cancer treatment may result in the removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes and uterus. This means you won’t be able to become pregnant naturally but you may still have other options.
Fertility post ovarian cancer treatment:
Women can get pregnant after she has ovarian cancer in certain conditions depending on the stage and if they still have one ovary or frozen eggs and the uterus. Your fertility after ovarian cancer depends on a few factors according to American Cancer Society, in addition to the stage of cancer your age at the time of treatment, radiation, surgery or chemotherapy are the factors involved after surviving ovarian cancer.
What to do if you have just been detected with ovarian cancer?
If you have just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, then discuss freezing ovarian tissue or eggs. This may improve the chances of becoming mother once you have completed treatment. Sometimes only one ovary is involved or you have a germ cell tumour of the ovary, it might be possible to pressure the uterus and the unaffected ovary, may remain fertile. However, chemotherapy may damage your remaining ovary or increase your risk of an earlier menopause.
But the main priority for your treatment is to save your life. It is important to talk about your fertility needs before treatment starts in order to help you and your partner and your doctor’s team. Plan the most appropriate treatment.
Other options for patients planning a family and suffering from Ovarian Cancer:
- IVF – If you did not have a total hysterectomy as a part of your treatment it may be possible to do OVF. IVF is the process in which eggs are fertilized by sperm from your partner or donor and then placed in to your womb.
- Other options – If you had a total hysterectomy done after discussion with your partner, family and cancer team and fertility specialist, then you have to see other options that are surrogacy. Surrogacy is where another woman carries your baby through pregnancy for you. In this embryo is created from your partner or a donor and egg is taken from you or donor is placed inside the uterus of your surrogate.
- Adoption – In this, you would assume parenting a child from the child biological parents. All rights and responsibilities are transferred permanently to the adopting parents.