Preserve fertility means to keep the frozen gamete (eggs and sperm) for being used in the future. The cancer treatment saves lives, but it can completely destroy the chances of having a child. Moreover, all women are aware of their ovarian biological clock.
Girls are born with approximately two million eggs. During adolescence, when the first menstruation comes, this number is reduced to about 400.000. After that, a woman will lose around one thousand eggs per month (menstrual cycle), until the point there is no egg left or none “works”. At this point, menopause begins. The inexorable rhythm of this egg loss during woman’s aging process is not affected by contraceptive pills, pregnancies, nutrition supplies, life style or young appearance.
Most women (98%) are fertile in the beginning of the third life decade (20 to 25 years). However, around 35, the infertility level raises to approximately 30%. One of the biggest dilemmas that many women face in life is to determine the boundary between fertility and infertility, especially the ones who could not get pregnant in their ideal biological moment. This ovarian “infertility” condition is usually called biological clock, that is to say, when the ovary starts working in an inefficient way, towards its failure. It is the direct result of the limited egg amount women were born with.
Has your biological clock tick-tack already started? What is your ovarian reserve? Many methods usually taken to determine female fertility are inaccurate and may lead to expensive and inefficient treatments. These tests usually do not show the main cause of female fertility decline: the ovarian aging. Once again, it is important to point out: the ovarian aging process follows a totally disconnected pace that is not the same for the female’s body.
Some women are still fertile in their forties; other might lose their fertility in their twenties. Some people have to face unexpected diseases and all have to face the aging process, while they are under pressure to postpone pregnancy due to professional reasons or matches and mismatches in relationships.
It is important to make an evaluation with a specialist in order to plan your future life (read about tests to ovarian reserve evaluation). Besides, more and more oncologists have been aware to guide their patients without children to look for help in order to preserve their fertility before doing cancer treatment.