Does Ovarian Cancer Mean I Can't Have Children?

What Are My Choices?

Visiting with a reproductive endocrinologist can help you take a look at your available options. If you have not yet started treatment, you may be able to have your eggs retrieved and frozen. After treatment is over, you may be able to still carry a child through in vitro fertilization (IVF).
 
Other possible options may include:
 
  • Surrogacy
  • Adoption
  • IVF with a donor egg from another woman.
 
Surrogacy
For some women, having another woman carry her baby may be an option. This may be a good option for women who have had their uterus removed during ovarian cancer treatment. Or, in some cases, surrogacy may be used when a woman does not have a healthy uterus or may have other medical issues that make it risky to try to become pregnant.
 
The surrogate mother becomes pregnant using your eggs, her eggs, or another donor's eggs and sperm, typically from your partner. After the baby is born, the surrogate gives up her parental rights and you then legally adopt the baby. This option usually involves numerous legal contracts. Also, you and your partner will likely have to pay for all of the surrogate mother's expenses.
 
Adoption
Another possibility for women who are infertile due to ovarian cancer is adoption. This can involve many considerations, such as whether you want to have the identities of biological and adoptive parents available to each other (open adoption) or not (closed adoption). Other things to consider include whether you want to adopt an infant, toddler, or child, and if you want to adopt from your own country or somewhere else.
 
Some adoption agencies may require that cancer survivors be done with treatment and cancer-free for a certain amount of time before they can apply for adoption. This can also be an expensive option, as there are numerous legal fees and other costs in the adoption process.
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