Fertility after cancer – for females

The first thing to do is work out whether you had any fertility-preserving interventions – like egg and embryo collection and freezing – before you had treatment. If you were quite young when you had cancer and you don’t remember, ask your parents or doctor.

If you did undergo fertility preservation, then your parents or doctor will know where your eggs or tissues are being stored and will be able to put you in contact with the right people. They will then be able to outline what steps you will need to take in order to have a baby.

 

What if I didn’t have any form of fertility preservation?

If you didn’t undergo any preservation techniques, then your first step should be to go to a fertility testing clinic and find out whether you will be able to have a baby naturally, or whether you may need some help.

For information on places where you can have your fertility tested, ask your YCS team.

 

If you did have some fertility preservation

What you do now depends on the type of preservation intervention you had before treatment, and whether you want to try to have a baby soon or later.

  • Egg and embryo collection and freezing

Once you finish treatment you can think about what you might like to do with your eggs or your stored embryos.

Having children may be a long way down the track though, so you might decide not to worry about it now and just think about it when the time comes.

  • Ovarian Tissue Freezing

Once you have finished treatment you can have the ovarian slices returned to your body, or they can remain frozen until you decide to have children.

  • Ovarian Transposition

Once treatment is completed the ovaries are surgically returned as close to their normal position as possible.

  • Use of GnRH analogues

Once you have finished treatment you will generally stop the injections and hopefully within time your ovaries will start functioning again.

 

Need more information?

Check out our recommended booklet and websites with more detailed information about fertility and fertility preservation options for young people with cancer.