Thanks to advances in the preservation of fertility, a patient suffering from cancer is not condemned to renounce his future paternity / maternity .
In women, when it is a medical indication for the preservation of fertility, as occurs in patients who have to receive cancer treatment, it is very important to act before chemotherapy or radiotherapy is started , since the effects of these on fertility can be devastating. The success of the preservation will depend to a great extent on the speed with which it is acted. It is also very important to assess each case individually, as certain factors, such as the presence of metastases, may discourage ovarian stimulation.
Thanks to advances in these techniques, we can offer these women the opportunity to realize the dream of being mothers once the disease has been overcome .
In the case of women who want to delay motherhood without a medical indication, for personal reasons, the preservation of fertility offers them the possibility of having offspring later and without renouncing that it is their own genetic material.
Unlike men, women are born with a limited supply of oocytes that gradually decreases throughout their lives , so that after 35 years, there is only 10% of the initial reserve. This is accompanied by a reduction in oocyte quality, so that the chances of gestation of women are reduced with age and as time passes, this deterioration is progressive.
Techniques to preserve fertility
For all this, it is advisable to make the preservation of fertility when there is still an adequate oocyte reserve and this happens, generally, up to 35-38 years. In any case, even at more advanced ages, each patient must be assessed individually.
The techniques with the best results to preserve fertility in women are the vitrification of oocytes and the vitrification of embryos.
In both cases a previous ovarian stimulation is required and the recovery of these oocytes by follicular aspiration. Once the oocytes are obtained, those that present a good quality and are mature, can be vitrified. In the case of vitrification of embryos, the oocytes are previously inseminated with the sperm of the couple or those of a donor, depending on the case, and subsequently, the resulting embryos are vitrified.
In the case of preservation of fertility in men who are going to receive cancer treatment or some other type of treatment that may pose a risk to their reproductive health, their sperm must be frozen beforehand. The survival to freezing of each frozen sample will be valued, since this survival depends on each individual, and according to this result, it will be advisable to freeze as many samples as possible before the beginning of the therapy, enabling them to enjoy this in the future of his fatherhood .
There are other non-medical indications such as preserving semen before a vasectomy or during assisted reproduction treatments if the male can not be present or when he has difficulties in obtaining the sample at a certain time.
In short, the preservation of fertility offers new options to achieve a pregnancy .
Image source: CREA