Chemotherapy and Fertility

by Admin on June 26, 2018

We may not like to talk about it, but many people are affected by cancer. Chemotherapy treatment is used to treat cancer by eradicating cancer cells and healthy cells.

For women, chemotherapy can damage a woman’s eggs, which will affect her fertility. Predicting whether a woman will be fertile and able to conceive after chemo depends on many factors, including age, the type of chemo and dosage of the drugs. There are chemo drugs with a low risk of damaging the eggs. It is also essential to avoid getting pregnant while getting chemotherapy treatment. One should take precautions by using effective birth control if there is a chance you could get pregnant.

For men, chemotherapy will wipe out sperm cells. It is common for men who undergo chemotherapy to have no sperm in their ejaculate. Men’s fertility may return to normal in one to five years after chemotherapy; however, there is no knowing if there is damage to the sperm DNA from the chemotherapy.  It is recommended for men to wait at least two years after chemotherapy to conceive.

Please talk with your medical provider about the type of chemo drugs that will be used for treatment and the fertility risks that come with it. If you or your partner may be taking chemotherapy drugs, it doesn’t automatically mean your conception dreams are over. Also, your doctor may recommend women freeze their eggs or men bank or freeze sperm beforehand, if possible.

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