a sad woman with long hair considering chemo treatment

Getting Pregnant While on Chemotherapy

We may not like to talk about it, but many people are affected by cancer. Chemotherapy treatment is used to fight cancer by eradicating cancer cells — but healthy cells are also affected. Chemotherapy affects fertility in both men and women, making fertility after chemotherapy a challenge.

Chemo and Fertility for Women

Chemotherapy can damage a woman’s eggs, which will affect her ability to become pregnant. Predicting whether a woman will be fertile and able to conceive after chemo depends on many factors, including age at the time of treatment, the type of chemo, and the dosage of chemo. There are chemo drugs with a low risk of damaging the eggs that may be a good option if you plan to have children in the future. 

It is also essential to avoid getting pregnant while on chemotherapy. You should always take precautions by using effective birth control if there is a chance you could get pregnant during your time in chemo.

Chemo and Fertility for Men

a sad man with a beard wearing a beanie

For men, chemotherapy will wipe out sperm cells. It’s common for men who undergo chemotherapy to have no sperm in their ejaculate. Men’s fertility after chemotherapy may return to normal within one to five years. However, there is no way of knowing if there is damage to sperm DNA from the treatment. Many doctors recommend that men wait at least two years after chemotherapy before attempting to conceive.

Alternative Paths to Pregnancy

Men and women undergoing chemotherapy have options. At Family Creations, we facilitate both egg donation and surrogacy to help grow your family. If you’re worried about chemo and fertility in the future, now might be the time to discuss alternative plans for pregnancy with your significant other, your doctor, and a fertility clinic.

Getting the Best Care

At Family Creations, we believe it’s best to discuss your goals with your doctor to ensure the best plan of action when it comes to your care. Please talk to your medical provider about the types of chemo drugs available and their fertility risks. If you or your partner are taking chemotherapy drugs, it doesn’t mean your conception dreams are over. There are tons of options to help you build your family, and those may include Freezing your eggs or sperm, or working with donors.

For more information about chemo and fertility, as well as guidance for those looking at alternative solutions, reach out to the Family Creations team today.

by Julia McConnell | Last updated on : July 5, 2023