Chemotherapy Treatment for Breast Cancer (cont.)

Will My Periods Return After Chemotherapy?

Many premenopausal women retain or recover ovarian function and their periods return after treatment is completed. Return of ovarian function may depend on the woman's age prior to treatment and the type of medication she received during treatment.

Can I Get Pregnant While I'm Receiving Chemotherapy?

Yes. It is safe to have sexual intercourse while on chemotherapy. Nonetheless, there is always a chance that you can get pregnant as long as you are menstruating. While on chemotherapy, your menstrual cycle may become irregular. As a result, you may never quite be sure where you are in your menstrual cycle and your period may take you by surprise. Some of your menstrual cycles may be non-egg producing, but you cannot rely on this.

Even if your periods seem to have stopped, you should use a safe and effective method of birth control for at least four to eight weeks after your chemotherapy treatment has ended.

What Is The Safest Type Of Birth Control During Chemotherapy?

A safe and effective contraception (birth control) method is necessary during your treatment. Guidelines for young women undergoing chemotherapy may include the use of barrier contraceptives such as a diaphragm or a condom. An IUD (intrauterine device) may be the most effective option to consider at this time. Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) may be acceptable for some women, but are generally not recommended for women with breast cancer.

What Happens If I Get Pregnant While Receiving Chemotherapy?

Becoming pregnant while receiving chemotherapy could result in a complicated pregnancy.

Some chemotherapy medicines to treat breast cancer are safely given during pregnancy.

Most chemotherapy drugs can be safely given after the first 13 weeks of a pregnancy. Prior to that time, chemotherapy drugs pose a risk to the developing fetus and are generally not used. If you think you might be pregnant, it is important to tell your physician right away so that steps can be taken to ensure the health of you and your baby.

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