Did you know women are born with all the eggs they’ll ever have? As difficult as a cancer diagnosis requiring a hysterectomy surgery is, it’s important to also think about your future fertility. Hysterectomy requires removing the uterus, and sometimes removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes, which means a future pregnancy will not be viable. It also means you will no longer have eggs. If you still want to have a biological child, doctors recommend egg harvesting before undergoing surgery or receiving cancer treatments.
Egg Harvesting before Hysterectomy
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 fertility. Even if your ovaries and fallopian tubes are not removed during a hysterectomy, they can still be affected. Treatments can damage ovarian follicles containing eggs. This is why doctors recommend egg harvesting prior to hysterectomy recovery or surgery.
What to expect from your egg retrieval experience
Prior to egg harvesting, injected medications are used to stimulate egg production in order to assure enough eggs are available for harvesting. Once the follicles have reached 15 to 20 mm in size, surgery can take place. Anesthesia will be used so that you won’t feel any of the following:
- An ultrasound-guided needle is passed through the vagina to the ovary and follicles
- Fluid is removed from the follicles, causing eggs to detach from the wall
- Eggs are sucked 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, your fertilized egg can be placed in a surrogate to carry your biological child.
Get Expert Advice
At Nevada Surgery and Cancer Care, we’re experts in gynecological cancers. Contact us for your consultation.