Pregnancy After Breast Cancer – Can You Conceive?

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PREGNANCY AFTER BREAST CANCER

Getting diagnosed with breast cancer may feel like the end of the world. And in case you are considering becoming pregnant, it can further complicate the issue. But many studies indicate that it is possible for most women to conceive after breast cancer. However certain breast cancer treatments can cause delayed pregnancy or make getting pregnant harder. So, it is best to discuss any fertility concerns with your doctor before you start breast cancer treatment.

Does Breast Cancer Treatment Affect The Fertility?

Many women may pose the question can you get pregnant after breast cancer. Getting pregnant after breast cancer can be hard in certain cases. Most breast cancer treatments are likely to curtail your window of the fertile period. The important factors that may impact fertility can be the age of the woman, the type and dosage of the drugs included in the treatment and whether the treatment involves radiation therapy. For example, pregnancy after chemotherapy for breast cancer can result in instant or delayed infertility.

How Long Should You Wait to Become Pregnant after the Treatment?

Many experts suggest waiting for minimum two months after stopping the use of anticancer drugs before trying to get pregnant. Some doctors recommend waiting for at least one or two years after discontinuing treatment before attempting conception as they believe that the chance of a recurrence greatly reduces after this point. Nevertheless, it is best to discuss with your doctor who can suitably advise keeping in mind your specific case.

Can Your History of Breast Cancer Affect Your Child?

There is no concrete scientific evidence available which directs that a woman’s history of breast cancer affected her child after getting pregnant. Researchers have not found any link between the increased rate of neonatal defects or lasting health problems in babies to the fact that their mothers are breast cancer survivors.

Can Breast Cancer Treatment during Pregnancy Affect Your Unborn Baby?

Certain breast cancer treatments during pregnancy can adversely affect the unborn child. For example, radiation therapy can harm the growing foetus. Similarly, hormone therapy involving the use of tamoxifen and targeted therapies during pregnancy can place the unborn child at risk of serious damage.

However, some breast cancer treatments are thought to be harmless during pregnancy. For example, breast cancer surgery is usually considered safe when pregnant. Due consideration to the type of treatment and the timing of treatment is important while treating breast cancer during pregnancy to protect the unborn baby.

Can You Breastfeed After Breast Cancer Treatment?

Most women can breastfeed after breast cancer treatment. But in the case of lumpectomy, breastfeeding may depend on the quantity of breast tissue taken away and the state of the residual tissue. Breast cancer treatment can lower the milk production or lead to structural changes in the affected breast which can make breastfeeding painful. In such an instance you can breastfeed your baby from the breast which was not touched by cancer or consider using breastfeed formula.

BREASTFEEDING AFTER BREAST CANCER

Does Breastfeeding After Breast Cancer Increases the Risk of Recurrence of Cancer?

A breastfeeding mom usually has higher levels of estrogen. Estrogen may have a role to play in the occurrence of breast cancer. Therefore, pregnancy after oestrogen positive breast cancer may be a possibility. However, there is no tangible proof to substantiate the notion that breastfeeding can increase the possibility of recurrence after successful breast cancer treatment.

What If You are Unable to Get Pregnant After Breast Cancer?

In case you are unable to get pregnant after breast cancer, you can opt for the following treatments:

1. Fertility treatment

Many fertility treatments like fertility drugs, hormone treatments, ovarian tissue freezing can improve the likelihood of a pregnancy. Also with the help of assisted reproduction which utilises different medical techniques like IVF (In vitro fertilisation), IUI (intrauterine insemination) a pregnancy is possible.

2. Surrogacy

Surrogacy can be another option which involves asking another woman to carry a pregnancy for you.

3. Adoption

You can also deliberate the option of adoption. You can refer to an adoption counsellor to learn about the procedure.

Consult A Doctor

You may like to consult a doctor about the following:

  • The impact of breast cancer treatment on your fertility
  • The waiting period after terminating treatment to get pregnant
  • The chances of a recurrence
  • The type of birth control

Becoming pregnant after breast cancer treatment can be tough but not impossible. Every woman’s medical case can be unique. Talk to a fertility specialist about the most suitable way of getting pregnant after breast cancer treatment and remain hopeful for positive outcomes.

Also Read:

Can You Get Pregnant Right After Stopping The Pill?
Can You Get Pregnant After Menopause?
What If You Are Underweight or Overweight When Trying to Get Pregnant?

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