Women fighting breast cancer at a time when they want to start their families may believe they’ve run out of options.
They’re not alone in fighting this disease: Breast cancer strikes roughly 12% of women in the United States and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women. However, many women still feel isolated when they are also grieving the potential loss of motherhood.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease by encouraging early detection and providing education and support services.
Survivors of breast cancer may have overcome one obstacle in fighting the disease, but believe they’ve lost another battle. Going through chemotherapy or surgical treatments may cause infertility or cause their eggs to no longer be viable. Some may even decide they may do not want to pass along their genes and increase a child’s risk of cancer.
Though they are not alone—infertility affects 7.3 million people nationwide, or roughly 10% of the reproductive population—they may experience the emotional toll of seeing their dreams of being a mother slip away. They may not have had the time before their treatment to take proactive steps, such as freezing their eggs, due to the immediacy of starting treatment or not having the resources for expensive fertility options.
Embryo adoption gives women an opportunity to obtain their dream of motherhood. It’s a safe, affordable solution for many cancer survivors, who are able to carry a child in their womb and experience childbirth. They do not have to do any long-term planning prior to their cancer treatments. As long as they are healthy and cleared by their doctors to become pregnant, they can begin the adoption process of an embryo and make their dream a reality.
For more information about embryo adoption and donation, visit EmbryoAdoption.org.