Ovarian Cancer is no more an obstacle to pregnancy

Ovarian Cancer is no more an obstacle to pregnancy


Anita Malik (name changed to maintain privacy), a 36-year-old woman, was extremely disappointed to learn about her diagnosis of ovarian cancer in her early 30s. Her hopes of becoming a mother were cruelly shattered. While battling cancer, she had to lose her ovaries but the doctors were able to save her uterus. A team of oncologists and gynecologists worked together to make her dream come true of being a mother. IVF treatment and egg donation made it possible for her to conceive.

Nina (name changed to maintain privacy), another patient who suffered from ovarian cancer after her marriage at an early stage, lost one of her ovaries. Under the IVF treatment, she was able to give birth to a healthy baby.

Dr. Archana Dhawan Bajaj, obstetrician, and gastroenterologist at Nurture IVF centre says that she has diagnosed very few women in the early stages of cancer. Most women seem healthy on the outside but they might have ovarian cancer at a young age due to hereditary reasons.

She further added that it is difficult to detect ovarian cancer at an early stage because its symptoms like urinary problems, abdominal bloating and dyspepsia are shared by other diseases as well. However, an early diagnosis can protect one’s chances of becoming pregnant.

Dr. Archana says that if one ovary is surgically removed, a woman has 50 percent chance of conceiving since the fertile ovaries are needed. If both the ovaries have been eliminated, but the uterus is healthy, pregnancy is possible by the IVF treatment (In vitro fertilization).It is advised to freeze one’s egg immediately if one is diagnosed with cancer to conceive later.

She emphasizes the importance of awareness among women regarding ovarian cancer, which can save numerous lives. Early signs should never be ignored and is recommended to undergo a diagnosis as early as possible. It has been estimated that about 140,000 women die of ovarian cancer every year.

Some of the common signs that every woman should be aware of are menstrual irregularities, heartburn, indigestion, constipation, back pain and painful intercourse.