Can I get pregnant after breast cancer treatment?


The ability to have children in this case depends on two factors – age and drugs (their type and doses) but not Women younger than 30 are more likely to get pregnant after chemotherapy. As a woman grows older, her ovaries begin to produce fewer and fewer eggs. Menopause is the period when the ovaries completely stop producing eggs, and on average this happens at age 51. Women who are over 40 years old while on chemotherapy are more likely to go through menopause afterward and be unable to conceive.

A pregnant woman and her doctor are indoors in a medical center. The woman is holding her stomach while the doctor writes information on a clipboard.

As for drugs, check with your doctor about which ones are less likely to affect your fertility, for example, they include methotrexate and fludarabine.

Chemotherapy can affect the fetus, so patients are advised to protect themselves during the course, and also not to plan children in the first six months after the end of treatment.

Hormone therapy

This method is used in breast cancer, which is dependent on the hormone estrogen. Hormone therapy drugs can cause periods to become irregular or stop and the ovaries stop producing eggs. But many women after completing this treatment are still able to have children.

Removal of the ovaries

It is sometimes used to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer again in women with a mutation in the BRCA genes. You can read more about this here.

In this case, irreversible infertility occurs. However, cryopreservation of embryos or eggs, which will be stored in a cryobank, will help to preserve the possibility for surrogate motherhood in the future.

Targeted Therapy

These drugs are generally less likely to harm healthy cells, and many women have had children after the course. But the treatment is new, so there is very little research on female fertility and targeted therapies. What is now known is that Avastin can cause ovarian failure. The US Food and Drug Administration has even decided not to pay for breast cancer treatment with this drug. However, this does not mean that doctors should stop using it. New studies are underway that try to analyze the ratio of its effectiveness and harm for individual types of breast cancer. Doctors advise waiting from 6 months to a year after therapy with any drug, since their effect on the fetus is not fully understood.