Often times, when parents and faced with the news of their children having cancer, their first thought is not about their long-term fertility. Generally, parents are overcome with grief and are more concerned about their survival.
However, since up to 80% of children are surviving cancer, the effects of chemotherapy and radiation on their fertility are becoming more relevant.
Children that have passed puberty have the option of cryopreserving their eggs or sperm.
Another option for young girls is to have a piece of their ovary removed and cryopreserved, which can be subsequently transplanted to restore fertility.
This technique has resulted in successful pregnancies in 15 women worldwide.
Other techniques are currently being investigated, including the generation of sperm cells from stem cells.
However, the current approaches of cryopreservation are very effective and relatively simple to perform.
If your fertility clinic does not offer these approaches, ask them about any options they may offer for shielding reproductive organs from the cancer treatments.