Chemotherapy and hormonal therapy treatments for breast cancer may have an impact on your fertility (your ability to have children).
You may not be thinking about having children right now, but you may want to in the future. It is important to therefore understand:
- how your cancer treatment may affect your fertility and
- what options are available to you to protect your fertility – this is known as fertility preservation.
Not all treatments necessarily affect fertility:
- There may be choices you can make to help ensure you are giving yourself the best possible chance of having children in the future.
- Some choices may not be available to you and some techniques are very new and still in the early experimental stages.
If fertility is important to you, you must make sure that your doctor knows this is a priority before you start your treatment.
Having children may be the last thing you want to think about right now. However, talking to a health professional sooner rather than later can help you to understand the long-term effects of your treatment and options available to you.
“That’s my biggest regret because I could’ve had eggs frozen. It’s as time goes by and as life becomes a little bit more back to normal, as it can be, and you see the holes, big holes that are left” (A Qualitative Analysis of Reproductive Issues Raised by Young Australian Women with Breast Cancer, Centre for Health Research-School of Public Health, Qld University of Technology 2006)