Menopause and fertility
Chemotherapy can cause your periods to stop for a time and affect your ability to become pregnant. If your periods stop permanently (early menopause), you won’t be able to have children naturally.
Symptoms of menopause can range from mild to severe, and may include:
- hot flushes and sweats
- trouble sleeping
- vaginal dryness
- reduced sex drive (libido)
- dry skin
- aches and pains
- mood swings
- poor concentration
- weight gain
You can talk to your doctor or breast care nurse about ways to manage symptoms.
If you learn you may be permanently infertile, you may feel a great sense of loss. Talking to a counsellor or someone in a similar situation may help − call Cancer Council 13 11 20 for information about counselling services and support groups in your area.
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Prof Christobel Saunders, Professor of Surgical Oncology and Head, Division of Surgery, The University of Western Australia, and Consultant Surgeon, Royal Perth, Fiona Stanley and St John of God Subiaco Hospitals, WA; Dr Marie-Frances Burke, Radiation Oncologist, Medical Director, Genesis CancerCare Queensland, QLD; Kylie Campbell, Breast Care Nurse and Clinical Lead, Murraylands, McGrath Foundation, SA; Carmen Heathcote, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Queensland, QLD; Annmaree Mitchell, Consumer; Sarah Pratt, Nurse Coordinator, Breast Service, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr Wendy Vincent, Breast Physician, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick, NSW, and Clinical Director BreastScreen NSW, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, NSW; A/Prof Nicholas Wilcken, Director of Medical Oncology, Westmead Hospital, and Co-ordinating Editor, Cochrane Breast Cancer Group, NSW. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title. This booklet is funded through the generosity of the people of Australia.
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