Every year, millions of women die of cervical cancer. After taking treatment for cervical cancer, a woman’s ability to conceive becomes questionable. Many women who have had cervical cancer and those diagnosed with cervical cancer have this deep fear embedded in their minds about conception and child bearing.
In reality, many women who have survived cervical cancer have gone on to conceive. Much depends on the type of treatment administered and also the stage of cancer that the woman has been treated for. If it is the early stages of cancer, most probably the uterus will be retained along with a part of the cervix.
Sometimes the radiation treatment administered during cancer treatment can make the woman sterile. If these things are all in your favour, then there are chances of your getting pregnant after cervical cancer.
Conception After Cervical Cancer
1. It is always better to discuss your options with the doctor before the treatment starts if you plan to have children in the future. Most surgeons would remove the uterus and cervix when there is cervical cancer. Discussing your options will help the surgeon choose the best treatment method that will preserve your fertility for future use.
Your doctor would probably suggest freezing your eggs before treatment or freezing an embryo that can be used for later purposes.
2. Once the treatment is complete and you feel healthy and ready for a pregnancy, consult a fertility specialist for checking your fertility. Sometimes radiation therapy can lead to infertility and you may not be able to conceive normally. If you still have the uterus and cervix, then your chances of becoming pregnant increases manifold. However, there could be complications due to the damage caused to the cervix. A fertility specialist will guide you in the right track
3. Freezing eggs or embryos prior to treatment will help you conceive without much problem as fresh sperms can be injected into the eggs in a lab and transferred to the womb for conception. Frozen eggs and embryos can be used to fertilise your progeny even if you do not have a uterus. Surrogacy can be used in such cases where another woman will carry your fertilised embryo until delivery.
4. For women who have had cervical cancer and have managed to retain their uterus and cervix without any damage, fertility treatment may not be necessary as they might conceive naturally. However, there could be a reduction in hormone levels in their body which can be easily rectified through the intake of fertility drugs or hormone therapy.
Possible Risks Of Conceiving After Cervical Cancer
Sometimes a cone biopsy or a radical trachelectomy may be necessary during the treatment of cervical cancer. These procedures can make the cervix weak and pregnancy in such cases should be closely monitored by the doctor as there are chances of miscarriage and early delivery.
Some women might also go into recurrence of cervical cancer while they are pregnant due to the increase in hormone levels in the body or just because they are susceptible to cancer. In such cases, depending on the extent of cancer, doctors might suggest that the pregnancy be carried full term after which a hysterectomy can be done.
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