Helping women touched by cancer become mothers.
Egg Freezing and Baby Making.

Cancer and Fertility

We were so excited to read that another woman has successfully become pregnant by utilizing her frozen eggs!

According to an article published in the Kansas City Star, Jessica Dickson, 31, is the first woman in the Kansas City area to conceive with this method.

Dr. S. Samuel Kim, of the University of Kansas Medical Center mentioned in the same article that about 1,000 babies worldwide have been born from frozen eggs and that number is on the rise. One of our very own founding Fertile Action Network members, Dr. David Diaz, likely has the most babies born from frozen eggs in the United States with over 50 healthy babies.

In fact, Dr. Diaz just hosted the first frozen egg baby reunion in October 2011 connecting former patients and their children to each other.  Dr. Diaz founded West Coast Fertility Centers in southern California in 1988 and now puts their success to compassionate use by helping women touched by cancer harvest their eggs before starting therapy.

One of the main reasons for this is the advancement in egg freezing technologies.

Although, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine still considers egg freezing an experimental technique, recent technological advances are showing very promising results in post-thaw survival rates.

According to the Kansas City Star article:

“Eggs are the largest cell in the body and are made up largely of water. Freezing eggs risks the formation of damaging ice crystals. To minimize this risk, doctors originally froze eggs slowly over the course of several hours. But now, doctors are using a new procedure called vitrification to flash freeze the eggs before crystals have a chance to develop. Chemical preservatives are added to the eggs, and they are immersed in liquid nitrogen to negative 321 degrees.”

Some fertility centers are now using a rapid freezing technique that may protect the integrity of the egg. Just like embryo freezing, it takes about two weeks from the onset of your period to harvest multiple eggs and includes daily, self-administered hormone injections, frequent blood work and ovarian ultrasounds. Upon maturation, eggs are retrieved during a quick outpatient surgical procedure and frozen for future use.

A woman who is ready to get pregnant after cancer will still use in vitro fertilization to create embryos from her eggs and partner’s sperm, as well as prepare her uterus for implantation. After careful monitoring, embryologists will test the embryo’s health before implanting into a woman’s uterus or that of a surrogate. Some women produce enough eggs to freeze both embryos and eggs.

Currently West Coast Fertility Centers donate egg freezing to approved Fertile Action applicants in their area. To apply please visit our application page.

 Or go here to find more baby-after-cancer resources.