Here's a guide to fertility preservation in adult female cancer survivors

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: It is a known fact that cancer treatments cause temporary or permanent damage to fertility. The high-energy radiation and surgeries that kill cancer cells also rupture the organs involved in reproduction like ovaries, fallopian tube, cervix etc.

Doctors suggest that such treatments not only damage the hormone production that supports reproduction but also destroy the eggs.

But not all women become infertile after undergoing cancer treatments. It's only the lack of information about fertility preservation is the main hindrance in this regard, finds a study.

Women of childbearing age who have been diagnosed with cancer and are wishing to have children, but not yet ready to start a family can now undergo fertility preservation with egg or embryo freezing after treatment.

The researchers suggests that these females are at higher risk of early menopause, giving them very shorter reproduction time.

For the study, published in online journal Cancer, the researchers examined 346 participants with the average age of 30 years and also focused on a subgroup of 179 women with uncertain fertility status who had not previously undergone fertility preservation.

The results indicated that having unmet information needs and greater reproductive concerns made it more difficult for women to think about the decision to undergo fertility preservation in the future.

These findings establish the need for support services to help young female cancer survivors make decisions about fertility preservation and family-building as part of survivorship care.

The study supports the need of women making fertility decisions before their treatment begins.

(With PTI inputs)