Pregnancy after breast cancer

By (biologist & science teacher) and (fertility counselor).
Last Update: 02/13/2015

Nowadays, breast cancer is being diagnosed in younger patients. Improved diagnosis and treatment methods, allow for an earlier diagnosis and higher survival rates. This leads to the existence of an increasing number of women, who plan to have children after breast cancer treatments.

Some breast cancer treatments, such as certain chemotherapy drugs, can affect a woman's fertility. Many women can get pregnant after cancer treatment, though.

Breast cancer at childbearing age

The possibilities of pregnancy and the ideal elapsed time depend on the:

  • Type of cancer.
  • Age and fertility.
  • Severity of the treatment.
  • Desire to get pregnant.
  • Risk of early relapse.

The treatment is so aggressive that it often triggers an early menopause, which prevents these women from having children in the future.

Researchers from the Tumour Institute of Genoa (Italy) have devised a new technique that protects the ovaries. This technique is based on a medicine that stimulates the action of the LHRH hormone, protecting the ovaries from the side effects of chemotherapy.

Experts have pointed out that this new technique can be considered a complement to egg freezing, which can help preserve female fertility and avoid premature menopause.

Waiting time

When a woman of childbearing age has, or had, cancer and wants to become a mother, most oncologists recommend waiting between 2 and 5 years after the end of the treatment.

Pregnancy after cancer

After this period, the risk of cancer recurrence diminishes significantly. Women should wait because it is important to be completely healthy before pregnancy. However, each case is unique and the best thing women can do is consult a doctor before undergoing an assisted reproduction treatment.

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 Iván Ferrer Durbà
Iván Ferrer Durbà
Biologist & Science Teacher
Bachelor's Degree in Biology by the University of Valencia (UV). Postgraduate Course in Secondary Education and Teaching by the University of Portsmouth. Teacher of Sciences at multiple British schools and high schools. More information about Iván Ferrer Durbà
Adapted into english by:
 Sandra Fernández
Sandra Fernández
B.A., M.A.
Fertility Counselor
Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpreting (English, Spanish, Catalan, German) from the University of Valencia (UV) and Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus (Edinburgh, UK). Postgraduate Course in Legal Translation from the University of Valencia. Specialist in Medical Translation, with several years of experience in the field of Assisted Reproduction. More information about Sandra Fernández

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