According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the World. While advances in medical science have significantly improved survival rates, it’s important to recognize that many treatments for breast cancer can have unintended consequences, such as damaging the ovaries and potentially leading to infertility. For young women diagnosed with breast cancer, the desire to have children in the future adds an additional layer of concern to an already challenging journey.
Fertility preservation is the process of safeguarding a person’s ability to have children down the road. It is particularly crucial for young women with breast cancer who dream of parenthood after completing their cancer treatment. In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of fertility preservation, the available options, and why discussing these choices with your healthcare provider is an essential step in your cancer treatment plan.
Understanding Fertility Preservation Options
There are several fertility preservation options available to women with breast cancer:
Egg Freezing: This procedure involves removing eggs from the ovaries and freezing them for future use.
Embryo Freezing: It includes fertilizing eggs with sperm and freezing the resulting embryos for later use.
Ovarian Tissue Freezing: This method entails removing a small piece of ovarian tissue and freezing it for later use.
The selection of the most suitable fertility preservation option will depend on various factors, including the woman’s age, the type of breast cancer, and the specifics of her treatment plan. It is imperative to have an open and honest discussion with your healthcare provider about fertility preservation options before initiating your cancer treatment.
Why Fertility Preservation Matters
Fertility preservation is of paramount importance for women with breast cancer for several compelling reasons:
Treatment-Induced Ovarian Damage: Many breast cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, can inadvertently damage the ovaries, potentially leading to infertility. Fertility preservation can help mitigate this risk.
Age and Family Planning: Breast cancer can strike women at a young age, and many still have dreams of starting a family. Preserving fertility options provides them with hope for a future they may have thought was in jeopardy.
Peace of Mind: The knowledge that they have taken steps to safeguard their fertility can provide women with peace of mind during their cancer treatment. It allows them to focus on their health and recovery without added concerns.
If you are facing breast cancer, we strongly encourage you to engage in a candid conversation with your healthcare provider about fertility preservation options. It’s a gift that you can give yourself for the future—a reminder that life goes on, dreams can be realized, and hope remains strong. In the face of breast cancer, preserving your fertility is a proactive step towards a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow.
June is world infertility awareness month; it is an important time to raise awareness about the challenges faced by those struggling to conceive. Infertility affects millions of people worldwide, and yet it remains a conversation that is clouded by shame and secrecy.
The importance of this month is to:
Raises infertility awareness Many people around the world are unaware of infertility issues. Considering that an estimated 1 in 6 couples experience difficulty conceiving, it seems strange that awareness is not more widespread. infertility is defined as the result of a disease or disorder of the male or female reproductive tract which prevents the conception of a child or the ability to carry a pregnancy to delivery. For a diagnosis to be made, you would have regular, unprotected sexual intercourse and to be unable to get pregnant after one year if the age of woman under 35 years and 6 months if she is older. While blanket assumptions too often blame women for struggling to get pregnant, the reality is that complications can arise from either or both sides, or an indeterminate cause. the 40% of infertility is caused by female factors, 40% male, and in the remaining 20% either both partners could contribute or a cause cannot be identified.
Decreases stigma around infertility Infertility can be an emotionally difficult experience – but one that is often made worse by society’s judgemental attitude towards it. this month helps to dispel any negative stigmas surrounding fertility issues, breaking down barriers that prevent couples from seeking help or getting the support they need.
Introduces solutions to couples experiencing infertility Raising awareness about infertility is not only about understanding what infertility is, how widespread it is, and what causes it, awareness includes knowledge of the various treatments and techniques that are available. One of the goals of this month is to provide an opportunity to educate people about the different causes of infertility and the various treatment options available. This includes fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and intrauterine insemination (IUI).
Encourages communication to break down and creates a community of support World Infertility awareness month reveals that infertility is more common than people think. It can provide a platform for people to share their stories, advocate for themselves and raise awareness about the impact infertility can have. During infertility month, people struggling to conceive can connect with others who are going through the same challenges. This can help provide a sense of community and support that can be crucial in maintaining hope during what can be a challenging time.
Helps couples experiencing infertility to cope with their condition This can be achieved through helping them to access information in order to understand their problems, and know the causes of not being able to have children. Understanding how their problems might be resolved, knowing where to go to seek help and explaining how their lifestyle can positively impact fertility, such as: Maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and managing stress.
The purpose of this month is improving the lives of millions of people who fail to conceive due to lack of scientific knowledge. No matter the cause of conception problems, time is always precious when treating infertility. An early visit to a fertility specialist will not only provide you with the best chances of successful treatment. With the right diagnosis, you will often find that you have been struggling for years with a problem that is easier to solve than you imagined.
Anxiety is never fun, but it’s especially hard to handle when trying to conceive seems to be the source of it all. The emotional ups and downs of trying for a baby pose a challenge for many women and their families.
While it’s still unclear whether or not worry, stress and/or anxiety do affect conception rates, there are numerous explanations for how the body might react in this situation. It is well known that the increase in cortisol levels triggered by stress can negatively affect many different aspects of health. The numerous physiological manifestations of stress include an impact on the gut microbiota (the balance of natural bacteria in the gut), thyroid and immune function and hormones including increased cortisol levels, as well as elevated inflammation, all of which have the potential to impact reproductive function, including implantation of an embryo into the womb.
The following symptoms may give you an indication that anxiety might be getting in the way of your TTC effort.
Feeling overwhelmed when you see other people getting pregnant. • Blaming yourself or feeling low self-esteem. • Relationship problems. • Sexual dysfunction, loss of interest in sex. • Isolating yourself from friends or family. • Excessive worrying or ruminating thoughts. •Getting overly caught up in the details of trying to conceive. • Neglecting your own health because your body isn’t ‘cooperating’. • Having anxiety or panic attacks.
Top tips for battling fertility anxiety
Learn: Educate yourself about the normal responses to infertility. Talk to other people going through infertility. Understand your medical condition and ask about treatment options.
Get a fertility check: Many couples say that when they are trying for a baby it’s the not knowing that’s the worst: Will I get pregnant and if so, when? Is everything okay?
Reduce your caffeine: It is a stimulant and can contribute to anxiety, but we might be so used to that morning coffee that we don’t realise how much of a stimulant it really is. If the thought of withdrawal is daunting, cut back slowly.
Exercise: The benefits of moderate exercise on health including the cardiovascular and circulation system are well-known, but let’s not forget those anti-stress endorphins a workout releases. Just be careful not to do a high intensity work out late at night as it could keep you awake.
Meditate: neuroscientific studies have shown regular meditation to be associated with better brain health. Just 5 or 10 minutes daily can make a difference. And if you’re not sure where to start, there are a ton of different apps and methods to suit varying tastes.
Focus on other projects: There are probably at least a handful of things that you could put your attention towards. Working on these things might help distract you from the stresses of TTC. continue with plans, career promotions, and make time to do more things that you like.
Reach out to your support system: Talking to your partner, family, or trusted friends about your experiences can ease some of the burden off of your shoulders, and don’t make you feel less like you’re going through these things alone. Understand that you can talk about your situation without going into details and tell others how they can support you.
Ultimately, stress relief is about finding what works for you. But approaching yourself with an attitude of kindness is sure to help. If you are trying for a baby for a while, and feeling nervous about that, schedule your consultation with one of our doctor and we will explain what can be done about it.
Many women don’t realize that their fertility begins to decline as early as their late 20s. A healthy 30-year-old woman has a 20 percent chance per month to get pregnant. A healthy 40-year-old woman has only a 5 percent chance of getting pregnant per month.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects a woman’s hormone levels. Women with PCOS produce higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones. This hormone imbalance causes their body to skip menstrual periods and makes it harder for them to get pregnant.
Pregnancy involves a lot of changes to the body, weight gain, and the fact that there is a baby which needs constant nutrition means that there are several effects of fasting during pregnancy. Some of them are short-term effects and would subside with time whereas others may have implications for the long term.
If you have endometriosis, it may be more difficult for you to conceive. Endometriosis can affect fertility in a number of ways. Most obviously, as the disease progresses and pelvic damage increases to organs such as the Fallopian tubes through distortion or adhesions, the passage of sperm and eggs through the pelvis will be increasingly impaired.