Genetic tests can provide you with sought after medical results, such as whether or not you are a carrier select variants of the BRCA1/BRCA2 genes. Specific genetic variants in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are associated with an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer, including breast cancer and ovarian cancer. If you have the BRCA 1/2 gene mutation, you may have questions about what this means for you and your future fertility. Here, Cary L. Dicken, MD of Sher Fertility Institute New York shares what you should know about the BRCA gene mutation and your future fertility.
While there is no direct connection between BRCA1/2 and fertility, cancer treatment such as chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, can put a woman’s fertility at risk. If you do test positive for BRCA 1/2 taking serious preventative measures such as removing your fallopian tubes and ovaries can help to nearly eliminate any chance of ovarian cancer, but will also eliminate the possibility of getting pregnant naturally.
Even without your fallopian tubes and ovaries, you can still get pregnant. Making a choice to preserve your fertility with oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing), you’re essentially hitting pause on the eggs that are retrieved. The eggs you freeze can later be used with sperm to create embryos which can then be implanted into your uterus, or a surrogate.
Women who carry the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations in their 20s should get annual screening MRI’s starting at 25. If someone in your family has been diagnosed with breast cancer, start getting screened 10 years before their original diagnosis. According to Stamford Health, women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations may consider taking oral contraceptives after age 20. Use of these medications reduces the lifetime risk of ovarian cancer by approximately 50% when taken for five years.
Contact Sher Fertility Institute New York at 646-792-7476 or click here to schedule an appointment with one of our fertility doctors. Our Patient Care Specialists will contact you within the next 24 hours.