Why can fertility be affected after cancer treatment?
Although cancer treatments have advanced to the point of causing fewer side effects to patients, radiation therapy and many medications used in chemotherapy can still affect fertility. In addition, surgical treatment of the reproductive organs can partially or totally affect fertility (NCI, 2011).
• The most frequent causes of fertility problems in men who overcome cancer are chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which cause damage to semen.
• In the case of women, fertility can be affected by any treatment that damages the immature ovules, that decontrol the hormonal balance of the body or that injures the reproductive organs.
All these factors make it necessary to consider the suitability or not of the preservation of fertility at the time of diagnosis of cancer and prior to oncological treatment (SEF).
How can we help?
The Quirónsalud Group through its Foundation has launched the Fertility Preservation Program for cancer patients, which offers this service free of charge to oncological patients, until completing the quota offered by the Foundation, as long as there is no clinical contraindication. for it.
Patients of childbearing age in which their reproductive capacity may be compromised as a consequence of oncological treatment:
• Women whose follicular endowment is adequate, with an age inferior to 40 years
• Non-azoospermic men
What are the techniques of preservation of fertility offered by the Program?
Women: oocyte vitrification
The vitrification consists of a process of conservation at a very low temperature, without freezing, through an extreme elevation of the viscosity during cooling, which is carried out at high speed. The oocytes are protected and immersed in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of -196º C. It is a simple technique with which good results are obtained.
The steps for the extraction of the oocytes are ovarian stimulation and extraction of the oocytes. Then, the vitrification and storage takes place.
Men: freezing semen
The freezing of seminal samples consists in cooling and preserving the semen in liquid nitrogen (at -196ºC) so that it can be stored without a time limit. To do this, the patient must deliver the semen sample in the laboratory within one hour after ejaculation and under the conditions indicated by the laboratory.
How can you benefit from the Program?
If your doctor has identified you within the group eligible for the Program, you should know that ...
1. Since you indicate to your responsible doctor your desire to preserve the gametes, you will be treated as a priority to a first consultation in our center within a maximum period of 48 hours.
2. In the center you will be informed about the next steps to follow in order to proceed with the preservation of fertility, as well as the techniques of assisted reproduction to be carried out after the oncological treatment.
3. The fertility preservation treatment will be carried out at no cost to you in a Chirónsalud center. The maintenance cost of the preserved gametes will run for five years also by the Quirónsalud Foundation.
4. Once the oncological treatment is finished and after the necessary time according to the medical criteria, you can go back to our center to undergo an assisted reproduction treatment using your preserved gametes.