Causes & Treatment

Having a baby after breast cancer diagnosis – key things to know with Generation Next Fertility

Kristina Lopez, in partnership with Generation Next Fertility  |   22 Nov 2023

For those who have battled breast cancer, the road to parenthood can be uncertain and feel like an uphill battle. Cancer is a life-altering diagnosis that impacts every aspect of your life, especially when trying to start a family. The good news: with the right guidance, empathetic care, and experienced medical support, you’ll be in the best place possible to make informed decisions. 

Renowned fertility expert Dr. Serin Seckin is the newest addition to the Generation Next Fertility team. The New York area clinic is on a mission to redefine fertility care for the next generation of parents. They offer conventional (both mild and natural) IVF, personalized treatment protocols, and cutting-edge technologies like Luteal Phase Stimulation. They’re also currently pioneering the world’s first ovarian Platelet Rich Plasma vs. placebo study.  

That’s why we dove into an insightful Q&A session with Dr. Seckin to learn more about the key considerations and steps to preparing for pregnancy after a breast cancer diagnosis. 

TRB readers: Make Generation Next Fertility your first choice when it comes to cutting-edge treatment and compassionate support options—for all of the steps a fertility treatment journey can bring with it.

Make sure you follow and @goodluckluk over on Instagram too, for daily bite-size insights, tips and more.

Does cancer affect getting pregnant?

Dr. Seckin shares more about the potential impact of a cancer diagnosis. “It can certainly impact getting pregnant, especially if you’ve have already undergone chemotherapy and radiation therapy.” 

Breast cancer and its treatment can affect a woman’s fertility, which is why it’s so important to seek expert guidance when planning for pregnancy. 

What does breast cancer treatment typically involve?

Not all breast cancers impact fertility, but understanding the nature of the treatment you’re receiving is essential in assessing its impact long term. 

“Breast cancer treatment typically involves various approaches, ranging from lumpectomy or mastectomy to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and adjuvant therapies such as tamoxifen,” says Dr. Seckin. 

“Some treatments can impact fertility, particularly gonadotoxic chemotherapy agents and radiation therapy near the pelvis, which can affect egg survival. For breast cancer, radiation is applied to the chest and the pelvis is shielded, so this is less of a concern, although theoretically small amounts of radiation may scatter to other parts of the body.” 

how breast cancer impacts your fertility

What’s the best way to go about planning pregnancy?

It’s important to know the basic steps needed with your medical team. A collaborative effort between medical professionals is key to planning a safe and successful pregnancy journey. 

If you’ve already been diagnosed with breast cancer and undergone treatment, the best approach is to consult with your OBGYN or fertility provider. They will assess your fertility status, hormone levels, and egg reserve. 

Remember, it is vital to seek clearance from your oncologist for both treatment and pregnancy, first. 

How long after chemo can you get pregnant?

Chemotherapy for breast cancer can impact how your ovaries function, and can even trigger premature ovarian failure in some cases. 

Dr. Seckin breaks down how the waiting period after chemotherapy varies and depends on factors like the extent of the cancer and its hormone sensitivity. 

Your oncologist will guide you accordingly, with recommendations ranging from 6 months to 3 or 5 years.  

What about radiation?

“Though radiation therapy for breast cancer generally has a minimal impact on the ovaries, it can affect egg survival if administered near the pelvis,” explains Dr. Seckin. Radiation therapy requires a cautious approach and adherence to recommended waiting periods, which can be similar to those after chemotherapy. 

If you’re looking to freeze your eggs, Generation Next is here to support you when you decide to take that next step forward. They provide peace of mind during your fertility journey if you have questions or worry about the outcome of your treatment options.

That’s why we thought it was so important to talk about preservation options. It can be a valuable option if you need to preserve your reproductive potential. This maintains the quality and potential of eggs while providing an insurance policy for future family planning.  

Though nothing can be guaranteed, it offers a backup option if you’re unsure whether natural conception can happen during or after treatment. 

having a baby after breast cancer treatment plan

Stage 4 cancer

Stage 4 cancer is a difficult prognosis and you should always talk to your OBGYN for a thorough evaluation, as well as finding ways to cope with your feelings and emotions as you move through into treatment.Dr. Seckin stresses how additional assessments may be required, depending on the location and extent of the metastasis. 

“Even for those with Stage 4 cancer, it’s possible to be in remission and cleared for pregnancy by an oncologist.” If you’re struggling to understand your options at this stage, book a consultation with a high-risk pregnancy provider as well as a fertility provider like Generation Next Fertility.

What is the risk of having a baby after breast cancer?

When navigating the path to parenthood after a breast cancer diagnosis, staying vigilant and committed to regular check-ups is crucial.

Pregnancy involves a significant increase in estrogen and progesterone levels. This means for those with breast cancer, especially estrogen or progesterone receptor-positive cancer, ongoing breast cancer screenings are essential.

Dr. Seckin explains, “Mammograms are not typically performed during pregnancy or breastfeeding, so close clinical follow-up is vital. 

Finding the right medical team that takes your pregnancy plans seriously is key to utilizing all of your options. Dr. Serin Seckin and the Generation Next Fertility team are committed to supporting your fertility journey with their medical expertise and guidance needed to make informed decisions. 

Generation Next Fertility is a great first stop on your fertility treatment journey with cutting-edge treatment and supportive options led by a compassionate expert team. Connect with the team today and @goodluckluk

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