When a woman comes to know about a disease like breast cancer, she feels as if her whole world has come to a standstill or has ended. In such a situation, if she is thinking of getting pregnant, then it can increase the problem further. But many studies have shown that it is possible for most women to become pregnant after breast cancer. However, some breast cancer treatments can delay pregnancy or make it difficult to get pregnant. Hence, it is advisable to discuss any fertility issues with your doctor before starting the treatment.
Does breast cancer treatment affect fertility?
Many women ask the question whether they will be able to get pregnant after breast cancer. Getting pregnant after breast cancer becomes a bit difficult for a woman. Most breast cancer treatments are likely to shorten the length of time you have fertile periods. Important factors affecting fertility include the age of the woman, the type and dosage of the drugs involved in the treatment, and the use of radiation therapy in the treatment. For example, after chemotherapy for breast cancer, there is an increased chance of infertility, whether immediate or delayed.
How long should I wait to get pregnant after treatment?
In this situation, many experts suggest women to wait at least two months after stopping cancer drugs before trying to conceive. Some doctors recommend waiting at least a year or two after stopping treatment before trying to conceive because they believe the chances of the cancer coming back are very low after this point . However, be sure to talk to your doctor about this, who will give suitable advice based on your case.
Can a history of breast cancer affect your child?
There is no solid scientific evidence to suggest that a woman’s history of breast cancer affects her child once she becomes pregnant. Researchers have so far found no link between neonatal defects or permanent health problems in children and the fact that their mother has been a breast cancer patient.
Can breast cancer treatment during pregnancy affect the unborn baby?
Some breast cancer treatments during pregnancy can affect your unborn baby. For example radiation therapy can harm the baby. Similarly, hormone therapy using tamoxifen and selective hormone therapies during pregnancy can cause serious harm to the fetus.
However, some treatments for breast cancer are not known to be harmful during pregnancy. For example, breast cancer surgery is generally considered safe while pregnant. When treating breast cancer during pregnancy, it is important to pay attention to the method and timing of treatment for the safety of the unborn child.
Can You Breastfeed After Breast Cancer Treatment?
Most women can definitely breastfeed after breast cancer treatment. But in the case of lumpectomy, breastfeeding depends on the amount of tissue removed from the breast and the condition of the remaining tissue. Breast cancer treatment may reduce milk production or cause structural changes in the affected breast that make breastfeeding more painful. In such a situation, you can breastfeed your baby with the breast that did not have cancer, or you can use breastfed formula.
Does breastfeeding after breast cancer increase the risk of getting cancer again?
Breastfeeding moms usually have higher estrogen levels. Estrogen plays an important role in diseases like breast cancer. Therefore, being estrogen positive after pregnancy may increase the chances of breast cancer. However, there is no conclusive evidence to support the notion that breastfeeding can increase the chance of recurrence after successful treatment for breast cancer.
What if you are unable to get pregnant after breast cancer?
If you are unable to get pregnant after breast cancer, you can choose from the following treatments:
- Fertility Treatment
Many fertility treatments such as fertility drugs , hormone therapy, ovarian tissue freezing improve the chances of pregnancy. Also by using medical techniques like assisted reproduction methods like IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) , IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) , the chances of pregnancy increase.
In such a situation surrogacy is another better option in which another woman is asked to carry the pregnancy for you.
You can also consider adopting a child . You can talk to an adoption counselor to know about the process.
When to consult a doctor
You may consider consulting a doctor about the following:
- Effects of Breast Cancer Treatment on Your Fertility
- Time to wait after treatment is over to get pregnant
- chance of cancer recurrence
- types of birth control
Getting pregnant after breast cancer treatment can be difficult, but it is not impossible. Every woman’s medical case is different. Talk to a fertility specialist about the best way to get pregnant after breast cancer treatment and wait for positive results.