Fertility and Pregnancy: During & After Breast Cancer
Many women diagnosed with breast cancer have fertility concerns. But because each woman’s situation is unique, it’s not easy to study pregnancy in women with breast cancer or women who have been treated for breast cancer. It’s difficult to find women with the same cancer status and fertility outcomes who can be compared in randomized clinical trials. The studies done so far have mostly looked at small groups of women. Still, there are some guidelines and research results that can help you and your doctor make decisions.
If having children is important to you, one of the most critical things you can do as you’re planning your treatment is talk to your doctor about your fertility options. Research shows that doctors often don’t provide enough information about what can happen to fertility with different breast cancer treatments, and most doctors don’t direct patients to fertility specialists for counseling before treatment begins. So if your doctor isn’t starting the conversation, it’s important to speak up about your concerns.
Breastcancer.org provides an excellent resource for fertility and breast cancer including articles such as treatments that effect fertility, being diagnosed during pregnancy, pregnancy after treatment, and options if you can’t become pregnancy after treatment. The website also provides a discussion board for young women looking to connect with others while managing fertility and pregnancy issues along with breast cancer.
This article is an excerpt from breastcancer.org