How Breast Cancer May Affect Fertility
Every year one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer. While some cancer treatments make it harder to get pregnant, there are fertility treatment options available. Breast Cancer may affect fertility, but it doesn’t have to stop you from starting a family.
Effects of Chemotherapy
If you have a type of breast cancer that is in the later stages or you are young when diagnosed, your oncologist will probably have you get chemotherapy treatment. Chemotherapy is usually administered for a few months or more. It can cause you to stop getting your menstrual cycle. This may impact your ability to get pregnant. Your period may return a few months after you stop chemotherapy.
Effects of Hormone Therapy
If your breast cancer is hormone fed, then your oncologist will probably treat you using hormone therapy. This is a way of getting rid of cancer by blocking the hormone in your body that feeds it. Hormone therapy can be administered through pills and or injections that put you into menopause. If you are put into menopause, then this will affect your fertility because you may not be able to get pregnant. Hormone therapy is a better option for preserving fertility, because it may prevent ovarian failure. Chemotherapy often affects your fertility in a more negative way than hormone therapy does.
Emotional Effects of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer may take away your ability to get pregnant or delay your timeframe of when you can get pregnant. You may not feel like having sex with your partner while having breast cancer, because of the physical and emotional way you will feel. Don’t stress; there are many alternative ways to have a baby. You may feel self-conscious of your body if you have had a lumpectomy, mastectomy, or you have lost your hair. This can cause you to feel sad, depressed, and not wanting to be uncovered in front of your partner. Some studies have shown that stress and depression can negatively impact fertility, so you want to wait until you feel healthier mentally before trying to conceive.
These include freezing your eggs, using donor eggs, adopting, and more. Freezing your eggs before starting cancer treatment is a great option when it comes to fertility preservation. Aspire Fertility can help you with freezing your eggs. Eggs are frozen by the patient going through a stimulation phase so that the optimal amount of eggs can be retrieved. Then when the time is right according to your reproductive endocrinologist, he or she will retrieve as many eggs as possible. It isn’t painful because you will be under anaesthesia. Once the eggs are retrieved, the lab team will freeze your eggs in liquid nitrogen. Eggs can be frozen for ten years or even longer. This is a wonderful option so that later your eggs can be combined with sperm to create a baby.
Ask your oncologist about how your cancer will affect your fertility from the beginning of you going to appointments so that you can plan accordingly. You can ask your oncologist to coordinate your care with one of our reproductive endocrinologists. Our counselors are also wonderful emotional support for helping you cope with cancer and also fertility. You can schedule an appointment at any of the Aspire Fertility Clinics or call the:
- Houston Clinic at (713) 425-3003
- Dallas Clinic at (214) 414-3806
- Atlanta Clinic at (678) 274-6760