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Shieva Ghofrany icon expert
Board-certified OB/GYN, MD, FACOG
Fertility after cancer is a broad issue encompassing so many factors – logistical AND emotional. For someone diagnosed as a young child it will likely be the LAST thing on their mind, but their family and care team are encouraged to address it in an effort to preserve their choices for their future self. Technology has improved DRAMATICALLY offering options like freezing eggs or sperm in the event that the treatments alter them significantly. As well there are various other physical issues that can ensue; from inability to breastfeed after a mastectomy, to painful sex from vaginal atrophy (AKA vaginal dryness) after hormonal medications from breast cancer, to the possible inability to have sex after pelvic radiation from cervical cancer. Luckily, each of these issues can be addressed *though none has a completely “simple” resolution). Outside of the myriad physical issues that can ensue from various surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, or hormonal medication depending on your cancer type, stage and treatment, there are the clear psychological manifestations as well. Surrounding yourself with strong family and friends in addition to support groups and other people who have weathered a similar storm can really bolster your mindset and help remind you that you still have vitality and often fertility that WILL materialize in creating the family you'd planned – albeit through a more potentially circuitous route.
3 years ago
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