Fertility means being able to have children. Some cancer treatments can affect fertility. These changes may be temporary or permanent.
Some cancer treatments can harm a developing baby. While you are receiving these treatments you should avoid becoming pregnant or fathering a child. Talk to your doctor about this. If you are pregnant or think there is any chance that you may be pregnant it is important to discuss this with your doctor.
Know what to expect
Ask your doctor whether your treatment could affect your fertility, and if this is likely to be temporary or permanent. It is important to discuss this before starting any cancer treatment.
You may be able to protect your fertility. To do this you need to see a fertility specialist before starting your cancer treatment. Fertility preservation options are different for women and men.
Know who to contact if you have a problem
Ask your doctor or nurse:
- when you should call for help or advice
- who you should contact
- how to contact them (including at night or weekends).
Keep this information where you can easily find it.
Checking fertility after treatment
It may take a while after treatment before you know how it has affected your fertility. You may need to go to a fertility testing clinic to find this out. Ask your doctor or nurse about this.
Dealing with infertility
Infertility is when you can’t have children, or have problems getting pregnant or fathering a child. Experiencing infertility can be distressing.
Even if you don’t want to have children it can still be upsetting to lose your fertility. It can help to talk to someone. Ask to see a social worker or clinical psychologist if this is a concern for you.