Should I Consider Freezing My Eggs For Future Fertilization If I Am Having Chemotherapy Treatment?

Dr. Harold Burstein answers the question: 'Freeze My Eggs Before Chemotherapy?'

ByABC News
September 25, 2007, 11:05 AM

— -- Question: Should I consider having my eggs frozen for future fertilization if I am having chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer?

Answer: Some women do choose to have their eggs frozen before they get chemotherapy and there are case reports of women then using those eggs after chemotherapy to successfully become pregnant, after their treatments for breast cancer. So it can be done.

There are a couple of important caveats though. The first is that you need to freeze eggs and not oocytes. The difference is that an oocyte is an unfertilized egg. Those do not freeze very well. There are technical problems with freezing them and then using them again. So you need a sperm donor as well as an egg donor in practice. So for women who may not have a designated partner, that can be a barrier or a limitation. The second thing is that not every woman will need those eggs because not every woman will either choose to get pregnant afterwards and some women will continue to menstruate regularly and become pregnant the old-fashioned way, if they choose to. Again, this is a very individual decision, but it is certainly possible to have those eggs frozen and to use them again afterwards.

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