One of the most vital organs inside your body, if you want to have children, are your ovaries. September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, so we’d like to explore information you need to know about and we’d like to bring to your attention some facts about the disease as well as options you might have for egg preservation.
Cancer of the ovaries is the fifth most common cancer killer in women, with a risk of contracting the cancer about 1 in 75, and death about 1 in 100 women. Mainly found in older, white women, diagnosis numbers have been steadily decreasing for the past two decades.
Rare in women younger than 40, the cancer often grows after menopause. More than half of ovarian cancer appears in women over the age of 63. Women with a body mass index of 30 or more are also at a higher risk of developing the cancer. Pregnancies that have gone to full term decrease the risk of developing ovarian cancer, and breast feeding does as well. Hormonal birth control on the pill, having your tubes tied, and a hysterectomy all help decrease your chances. Family medical history also plays a role in possibly developing the cancer.
The earliest symptoms include bloating, pain in your pelvis or stomach, and urinary symptoms such as feeling like you have to go all the time.
For women facing a cancer diagnosis, the discussion of freezing her eggs may arise. The process is similar to IVF. You receive hormone injections for a few weeks, and then once the eggs have matured, your doctor can remove them. The eggs are frozen right away, and thawed only when you are ready to conceive, even if it’s years later. An egg can then be fertilized and moved to the uterus as an embryo. About ten eggs are recommended to be frozen for each child you’d like to have. Costs are similar to an IVF treatment in general.
While talking about cancer and extreme circumstances can be challenging, knowing what could happen and how you might face it is never bad. If you feel you have any symptoms you’d like to consult with a physician about, or want to learn more about the egg freezing process, please contact us anytime at 717-747-3099 or click on the button below.
Dr. Melanie Ochalski
P.S. If you’d rather find out more about us before getting in touch, you can check out our free webinar here.