MIAMI (CBS4) – While doctors are not able to tell if chemotherapy will hinder a woman’s chances of conceiving, many are not leaving it to chance and freezing their eggs.

South Florida resident Ingrid Thelisme is a hard working fashion designer who eats well, exercises, doesn’t drink or smoke, and has no history of breast cancer.

She was understandably shocked when doctors dealt her a startling blow, she was diagnosed at age 26.

“I have to come to terms with it,” Thelisme told CBS4’s Cynthia Demos.

In April, she felt a lump and was diagnosed the next month. The following months consisted of two lumpectomies, a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.

In August she made the decision to take fertility drugs in order to harvest as many eggs as possible.

“Cause I like kids, I want to have my own,” said Thelisme.

She met with fertility specialist Dr. Ellen Wood who said chemo is fairly toxic to a woman’s eggs.

“The thought is the eggs are aged about 10 years,” said Wood. “So if you get chemo at 30, your eggs become that of a 40 year old.”

Doctors say women in their 30’s who get chemo have a 50 percent chance of going into menopause after treatment.  In the past 2 to 3 years the number of women with cancer who are of child bearing years have opted to freeze their eggs because the technology’s become so advanced.

The procedure isn’t cheap, it can run into the thousands of dollars for medications and harvesting.

A patient who freezes eggs must wait 2 to 5 years after being cancer free to try to concieve.


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