Are You Concerned About Infertility?

Health Monitor Staff
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Chemotherapy can affect your fertility, so it’s important to explore your options if you would like to have children. Here’s what you should know if. . .

You’re in your childbearing years. . . .
Because chemo can prevent the ovaries from producing hormones that trigger the release of eggs, menstruation may stop while you’re in treatment and for several months afterward. Fortunately, the effect is often temporary, with menstruation and fertility typically returning once chemotherapy is completed.

You’re close to age 45 . . .

Chemo and/or hormonal therapy can cause menstruation to stop, triggering menopause (even if your body isn’t quite ready for it). As a result, you’ll most likely no longer be fertile.

You may still be ovulating even if you're not getting your period, so it’s best to use contraception during chemotherapy. Conceiving during cancer treatment is unwise because it can result in birth defects and affect the type of treatments you can have.

Know your options

Ask these questions before your treatment begins:

  1. Can I have children after breast cancer treatment?
  2. Is pregnancy safe after breast cancer? What is the waiting period? Will the drugs I’m taking affect my fertility?
  3. What can I do to preserve my fertility?
  4. Can I get my eggs or embryos harvested and frozen before treatment? Can I use donated embryos or eggs?
  5. Will I need to see a fertility specialist?
May 2013