Chemotherapy and Getting Pregnant?

Can chemotherapy affect my chances of getting pregnant?
profile picture of Samuel Wood, MD
BySamuel Wood, MD
Reproductive Endocrinologist
Updated
Mar 2017
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Chemotherapy is used as a  cancer treatment for millions of patients. But unfortunately, the toxic drugs that help rout out and destroy cancer cells can also wreak havoc on your body. Most of the side effects are temporary, but for women who hope to someday conceive, chemotherapy can bring serious complications. How great an effect the chemo will have on your  fertility can depend on the type of drug, dose and length of treatment you get.

Certain types of chemotherapy can cause your body to go into early menopause, which can be either temporary or permanent. If your doctor is advising you to undergo chemo, consider freezing your eggs before you begin treatment. Advances in reproductive technology have made it possible to save eggs and other important tissues (or to harvest the eggs, fertilize them, and freeze the embryos), and keep them intact so you can someday successfully conceive.

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