Does Ovarian Cancer Mean I Can't Have Children?

How Long Should I Wait After Treatment to Have Children?

If you still have at least one ovary and your uterus is healthy after you have finished ovarian cancer treatment, you may wonder how long you have to wait to start trying to get pregnant. There is no set-in-stone time frame for how long you have to wait to start trying to have children after cancer treatment. It will vary for each woman's individual situation, depending on the stage of cancer she had and how aggressive the treatment was.
In general, it is usually recommended to wait at least one year after you have finished cancer treatment. This amount of time allows for at least three factors, which include:
  • Ensuring the eggs that were maturing during chemotherapy or radiation are no longer in the body
  • Allowing plenty of time to fully recover from treatment and its side effects
  • Receiving the green light from your oncologist that you have likely passed the point of the cancer recurring.
It's also important to talk to your healthcare providers, oncologists, and other cancer team members about whether it's safe for you to try to become pregnant. In some cases, certain cancer treatments may have late effects on some organs, including the heart, lungs, or uterus, which can increase your risk for complications during pregnancy.
Also, it's important that you talk to your cancer care team about the possible risks associated with your cancer recurring. You may not want to consider becoming pregnant unless your risk of recurrence is low.

What Can I Expect During Pregnancy?

If you do become pregnant after ovarian cancer treatment, your pregnancy will likely be managed the same as any other woman's pregnancy. However, if you had any medical issues prior to treatment, such as problems with your heart, lungs, or thyroid, you may require closer observation during pregnancy.
In general, women who become pregnant after cancer treatment do not need any special obstetrical monitoring compared with other pregnant women who are the same age. However, your obstetrician may monitor you more closely if you have been exposed to certain medications that may affect fetal growth. Also, pregnant cancer survivors may also need to have regular follow-up care with their oncologists throughout pregnancy and postpartum.
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