Below is a summary of the information in the previous sections. Review this information to help you think about the fertility options that may be best for you.
You have a fixed number of eggs in your ovaries when you are born.
Chemotherapy used to treat your breast cancer can decrease the number of eggs in your ovaries. You may find it harder or you may be unable to get pregnant after treatment.
Hormone therapy does not affect fertility. However, you may have hormone therapy for 5 or more years after your other treatments.
Your fertility naturally goes down as you age. It may be more difficult to get pregnant the longer you wait.
Consider your age now and your age after treatment when thinking about your fertility options.
The four most common fertility options available to you in Canada include:
- wait and see (no fertility preservation used)
- embryo cryopreservation (embryo freezing)
- oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing)
- ovarian suppression (temporarily shutting off ovarian function)
The chances of having a child after completing any of the fertility options will vary for each person. Talk with your fertility specialist about your specific chances.
The cost of the fertility options is different in each province. Embryo freezing and egg freezing may cost between $0 to $20,000. Funding may be available to you. Visit the Cost of fertility preservation page for more information on the cost and funding of fertility preservation by province.
After treatment many parenthood options are available to you including:
- natural pregnancy
- egg or embryo donors
- using your frozen embryos and eggs
- in vitro fertilization
Before chemotherapy all the fertility and parenthood options may be available to you. This is the time to consider freezing your embryos or eggs. Remember you have a better chance of success when you freeze embryos or eggs at a younger age.
During chemotherapy you have the option to wait and see.
After completing your chemotherapy and hormone therapy, your fertility options will depend on the number of eggs that are remaining in your ovaries.