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. If you may want to have children in the future, it is important to talk to your doctor before your treatment starts. There may be ways to reduce the risk of early menopause or to preserve fertility.
Symptoms of menopause can include:
- hot flushes
- trouble sleeping
- vaginal dryness
- reduced sex drive (libido)
- dry skin
- mood swings
- weight gain
Talk to your doctor or breast care nurse about ways to relieve the symptoms of menopause.
If you learn you may not be able to conceive a child, 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.
Prof Bruce Mann, Professor of Surgery, The University of Melbourne, and Director, Breast Tumour Stream, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr Marie Burke, Radiation Oncologist, and Medical Director GenesisCare Oncology, QLD; Dr Susan Fraser, Breast Physician, Cairns Hospital and Marlin Coast Surgery Cairns, QLD; Ruth Groom, Consumer; Julie McGirr, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria; A/Prof Catriona McNeil, Medical Oncologist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Dr Roya Merie, Staff Specialist, Radiation Oncology, Liverpool Cancer Therapy Centre, Liverpool Hospital, NSW; Dr Eva Nagy, Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon, Sydney Oncoplastic Surgery, NSW; Gay Refeld, Clinical Nurse Consultant – Breast Care, St John of God Subiaco Hospital, WA; Genny Springham, Consumer.
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