If you have survived cancer, you might be wondering whether or not you can still conceive a child and whether or not it is safe for both the unborn child and the mother. Some cancer treatments can, unfortunately, make it difficult or even impossible for survivors to have biological children. Your health care provider will be able to tell you whether or not you’re likely to be able to conceive.
Chemotherapy includes particular ingredients that can sometimes damage heart cells. A weakened heart will have to work that much harder during pregnancy and labour. However, do not confuse this to mean that pregnancy is impossible. As mentioned above, speak to your doctor for their expert opinion.
The good news is that for a woman, becoming pregnant after cancer treatment is perfectly safe and being pregnant will not increase the risk of the cancer returning. However, many women will be told to wait several years before having a baby, depending on factors such as the type of cancer, the type of treatment and the age of the patient.
Many health care providers do suggest that women avoid pregnancy for about 6 months after having chemotherapy because any damaged eggs will have left the body during that time. Others say that, as cancer is more likely to come back during the first few years, women should wait a lot longer until they are confident that they are completely cured. There are not any specific rules on how long a man should wait to try and conceive after finishing their cancer treatment, however, they will likely have healthier sperm cells after two years or so.
If you haven’t yet started your cancer treatment, you might want to consider preserving your fertility first. Having a baby is a huge decision, so be sure to speak to as many professionals as you can so that you understand any potential risks.