Will my fertility be affected by breast cancer treatments?

If you wish to become pregnant in the future, it’s important to discuss with your doctor how treatments might affect your fertility.

Certain types of chemotherapy may affect your fertility, either temporarily or permanently. Generally the younger you are, the more likely it is that your fertility will be restored after chemotherapy.

If you have estrogen-positive breast cancer and are premenopausal, you might take cancer drugs to temporarily stop your ovaries from making estrogen. Once the treatments are over, fertility will likely be restored. However, if you choose to have your ovaries surgically removed, then fertility cannot be restored.

What options are available to preserve my fertility?

There are various options available for preserving your fertility before starting treatment, including freezing your eggs or an embryo (a fertilized egg). You should have a discussion with your doctor if you are concerned about your fertility. Your doctor can refer you to a fertility expert if needed.

What support for fertility preservation is available for me?

Fertile Future is a Canadian national non-profit organization that provides fertility preservation information and support services to cancer patients. They also provide a program designed to help offset the expense of fertility preservation costs for qualifying patients. For more information, visit fertilefuture.ca.

Is it safe to become pregnant after being treated for breast cancer?

There is no evidence that women who have been treated for breast cancer and become pregnant have poorer outcomes than those who do not become pregnant. Nor is there any evidence that babies born to women who have had breast cancer are any less healthy than those born to mothers that have not had breast cancer.

Links to more information