If treatment involves radiation therapy, ovaries will be exposed to high-energy rays, which can damage them
Cervical cancer can impact a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant, owing to the fact that cancer treatments pose a risk to fertility. However, preserving fertility during cancer treatments is a possibility now, says Dr Indhumathi
Cervical cancer, mainly caused due to
Fertility and cervical cancer
Some methods of treatment of cervical cancer can take away your chances of getting pregnant.
Additionally, if your treatment involves radiation therapy, your ovaries will be exposed to high-energy rays, which can damage them. “This will lead to
Before undergoing any treatment, one must consider fertility-related medical advice from the doctor/specialist.
A cone biopsy is performed in the very early stage of cancer when there is a small growth in the cervix. The doctor will remove the cone-shaped area of the cervix or the cancerous tissue. This treatment does not cause infertility completely, although there is a small risk of premature birth and low birth weight. The patient must wait for a period of at least 8-12 months before planning a pregnancy to discuss the risk of miscarriage involved.
Under this procedure, the doctor will remove the signs of small tumours in the early stage of cervical cancer by removing most of the cervix, the upper part of the vagina and lymph nodes. The doctor will stitch the internal part of the cervix. Dr Dinakar says, “There are good chances of conceiving after this procedure. Due to the permanent stitch in the cervix, the baby can be delivered only by C-section. Pregnancy will be high-risk given the chances of miscarriage and premature birth, needing supervision by a gynaecologist.”
For chemotherapy and hysterectomy
If the doctor recommends radiation therapy, chemotherapy or hysterectomy, patient can consider freezing their eggs. One must consult a fertility expert to understand the risks and benefits of egg freezing. Note that radiation treatment and chemotherapy can damage the uterus and ovaries, therefore, the patient won’t be able to carry a child in the womb. With egg-freezing, one can conceive with In-vitro fertilization (IVF) or consider finding a surrogate. One must consider getting pregnant a few months after completion of the cancer treatment.
Dealing with cervical cancer and infertility
Cancer, in itself, is a huge issue to deal with. It destroys and damages a person physically and emotionally. “Infertility with cervical cancer can be emotionally draining for both partners. But research and studies have given a ray of possibility to women with cervical cancer to choose other methods of conceiving. Before losing hope, consult your doctor and a fertility specialist, who can guide you through your treatment as well as your chances of conceiving,” says Dr Dinakar.