Chemotherapy for early breast cancer can cause your periods to stop and affect your ability to become pregnant. If your periods stop permanently, this is known as early menopause, and it means you will no longer be able to have children.
Learn more about:
Symptoms of menopause
Some of the symptoms of menopause include:
- hot flushes and sweats
- trouble sleeping
- vaginal dryness
- reduced sex drive (libido)
- dry skin
- aches and pains
- mood swings
- poor concentration
- weight gain
Symptoms can range from mild to severe. Talk to your doctor or breast care nurse about ways to manage any symptoms you experience.
Cancer Council’s Sexuality, Intimacy and Cancer booklet includes tips for managing menopause symptoms, including vaginal dryness.
If preserving your fertility is important to you, ask your doctor for a referral to a fertility clinic before treatment starts.
Cancer Council’s Fertility and Cancer booklet also provides information about fertility treatment options.
If you learn you may be permanently infertile, you may feel a great sense of loss. You might be devastated that you won’t have your own children or additional children, and you might worry about the impact of this on your relationship. It’s normal to feel this way even if your family is complete or you weren’t planning on having children.
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.