Saturday, December 10, 2011

What to Do After Cancer

Many people suffering from cancer find that they are no longer able to conceive, despite all of the best efforts of fertility preservation. There is nothing guaranteed to succeed with fertility preservation during cancer treatments, but it is important to have the right attitude about getting pregnant and starting a family once you have cured your cancer. There are a number of solutions that you can consider, and you may find that starting a family is possible despite the damage the cancer and the subsequent treatments have done to your body.

How to Get Pregnant

If the cancer has damaged your body, it may be very difficult for you to get pregnant. Men suffering from cancer will often become sterile as a result of the treatments, and women may find that one or both of their ovaries are damaged beyond repair. If this is the case, here are some ways that you can get pregnant or start a family despite the cancer treatments:

1. IVF

In vitro fertilization is a method of artificial insemination in which the eggs of the woman are extracted and combined with the semen of the man. The combined eggs and sperm are then incubated to encourage fertilization, and they are then injected back into the woman's womb once the egg has been fertilized. If you suffered from cancer and the treatments have caused early menopause or caused you to stop ovulating, you may find that using this method of conception makes getting pregnant possible.

2. Artificial Insemination

Artificial insemination is a more natural method of conception, and it calls for the semen to be injected directly into the womb to make it as easy as possible for the sperm to fertilize the egg. This method is good for men who have low sperm count or motility as a result of their cancer treatment, or for women who have only a few eggs left.

3. Fertility Drugs

Fertility drugs help to boost the fertility level in the bodies of both men and women by increasing the levels of the hormones that control fertility. These drugs may have negative side effects, but they will be a good solution for those who are suffering from lower fertility than normal as a result of the cancer treatments.

4. Egg and Sperm Donors

Women who have gone through radiation treatment may find that they no longer have any eggs produced by their ovaries, and men may have a very low sperm count as a result of their treatments. If this is the case, the solution may be to obtain a donor for the eggs or sperm. There are hundreds of sperm banks in the country with many sperm samples available, and there are many places where cryopreserved eggs can also be obtained.

5. Surrogacy

If the mother's womb has been damaged or rendered inhospitable for the growing embryos, the body will reject it. In order to avoid this problem, surrogacy is another option to consider. Surrogacy involves implanting inseminated eggs inside a third party's womb, and the embryo simply grows to full term and is delivered by this third party. Many people suffering from cancer find that they are no longer able to conceive, despite all of the best efforts of fertility preservation.

Dealing With the Emotions

Once the cancer treatments have been completed, there is likely to be a flood of emotions that you may have no idea how to deal with. Many people find that they have a low self esteem or self image as a result of the changes their body has undergone, and it is important to deal with these properly. Another emotion that conflicts many people is the feeling that you are alone in your struggle. You may find that negativity floods you, and you may feel that the rest of your life is over.

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