Thoughts of the future are often placed on the line when a woman has to consider a hysterectomy to treat a possible cancer diagnosis. The possibility of having a biological child diminishes once the uterus, and often the fallopian tubes and ovaries. The best option for women to keep their chances of being mothers is to harvest eggs before a hysterectomy.
Keeping your eggs allows women to keep their chances alive of becoming a mother with a biological child and still lose their chances of cancer. If you have been given the choice of a hysterectomy but have not even conceived a child of your own, harvesting your eggs helps to keep this idea alive.
Benefits of Harvesting Eggs before a Hysterectomy
Did you know women are born with all the eggs they’ll ever have? As painful as a cancer diagnosis requiring a hysterectomy surgery is, it’s important to also think about your future fertility. A hysterectomy requires removing the uterus, and sometimes removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes, which means a pregnancy will not be viable.
It also means you will no longer have eggs or a possibility of becoming pregnant, which women who have their children see as a positive. If you still want to have a biological child, doctors recommend egg harvesting before undergoing surgery or receiving cancer treatments.
How hysterectomy surgery affects fertility
There are several different reasons women decide to have a hysterectomy, but cancer is the most common. Gynecological cancer treatments may include chemotherapy and radiation therapy too. Although these life-saving procedures are necessary, they affect the fertility of a woman and her chances of becoming pregnant.
Even though a hysterectomy doesn’t remove your ovaries and fallopian tubes, they can still be affected and can damage ovarian follicles containing eggs. Doctors recommend egg harvesting before hysterectomy recovery or surgery.
What to expect from harvesting eggs before a hysterectomy
Prior to egg harvesting, doctors stimulate egg production with injected medication to assure harvesting enough eggs. Once the follicles have reached 15 to 20 mm in size, surgery can take place.
Doctors also use anesthesia so you won’t feel any of the following:
- An ultrasound-guided needle passing through the vagina to the ovary and follicles
- Fluid is removed from the follicles, causing eggs to detach from the wall
- Doctors suck the eggs out of the ovary
The procedure takes no longer than 30 minutes and should result in eight to 12 eggs. Egg retrieval side effects are usually exclusive to mild cramping. Eggs will then be fertilized and frozen.
Once you are ready to take the next step to conceiving a child, a surrogate will take your fertilized egg to carry your biological child. Conceiving after a hysterectomy is possible when your beautiful baby is born through a surrogate.
Discover Your Options for the Future with Our Help
It is overwhelming to think your options for having a child are less when you have a hysterectomy. Our gynecologic oncology walks you through your options, so you are comfortable with the thoughts of your future as a mother. Schedule a consultation with us today!