Embryolab discuss fertility preservation to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is held around the world in October, to help increase awareness for early detection, support during treatment, as well as palliative care of this disease

Embryolab actively supports Life Jump, a Breast Cancer Association in Greece, where the clinic is based.

Breast cancer is the most common gynaecological cancer. With 12 percent of women getting sick at some point in their lives. Statistics show that more than 80 percent will be cured and continue their lives normally. One of the newest data related to this disease shows recently it is occurring at a younger age.

In today’s society, women have an important place in the labour market and aim for their professional development. This is why they often postpone their desire to start a family and decide to have a child at an older age. However, some women develop breast cancer before they can have a family.

Diagnosis and treatment is a physical, psychological and emotional challenge forcing women to deal and manage not only issues related to their health, but their fertility also is greatly affected during pregnancy.

Fertility maintenance is an option women have today

During this treatment a woman’s fertility is assessed, her ovaries are stimulated medically and her genetic material (ova or embryos) is cryopreserved for future use. It is a safe method which lasts no more than ten to 12 days. Medications do not cause complications or side effects, its onset is immediate and does not delay her treatment. Under the guidance of specialist oncologists and gynaecologists women are now able to cryopreserve their genetic material and preserve their fertility for many years and realize their dream of having a child.

The method

With the new vitrification method, it seems that oocyte cryopreservation and therefore, the maintenance of female fertility, is a feasible goal.

In which categories is the oocyte cryopreservation method applied?

In cases of medical problems affecting ovarian function, such as chemotherapy, endometriosis, surgical removal of the ovaries. In these cases, women may be at risk of losing their fertility temporarily or permanently.

When professional-financial conditions and personal reasons lead a woman to postpone the creation of her family. The possibility of early cryopreservation of oocytes at high fertility ages relieves her from the pressure of age.

When there is a family history of early menopause. These women often have a small oocyte reserve in their ovaries and also usually experience an earlier fertility-lowering process. If these women cryopreserve their eggs early, premature menopause will not affect their ability to become mothers.

The process

For oocyte cryopreservation most women undergo ovarian stimulation with the aim of producing multiple oocytes. This stage lasts about ten to 12 days from the beginning of their period. In more specific cases, where the use of drugs is contraindicated, it is possible to collect either oocytes in a natural cycle or immature oocytes (for women with polycystic ovaries). Once the egg collection is concluded, oocytes are vitrified.

The desired outcome

Thanks to these developments, women take control and define their own reproductive perspective. The on-time storing of their oocytes allows them to manage their future fertility and to make all the important life decisions without the pressure of age.

At Embryolab we work daily with respect to people’s dream of becoming parents. We change lives. We create families.

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