Fertility and cancer

Cancer and its treatment may affect a person’s ability to conceive a child or maintain a pregnancy (fertility). The information in this section helps you understand how cancer treatment can effect fertility.

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Print these questions

Before cancer treatment

  • Will cancer or its treatment affect my fertility? Will this be temporary or permanent?
  • Will any delay while I preserve my fertility affect the success of the cancer treatment?
  • How long do I have to make a decision?
  • Can you refer me to a fertility specialist? Are there ways to protect my fertility before treatment starts?
  • What are the pros and cons of each fertility option?
  • What are the chances of success of each fertility option?
  • What are the risks and possible side effects of each fertility treatment?
  • Which fertility option should I avoid and why?
  • Are there any out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Medicare or my private health cover? Can the cost be reduced if I can’t afford it?
  • Do I need to pay up-front before treatment begins?
  • How can I find a counsellor or psychologist?

After cancer treatment

  • What options do I have after treatment?
  • I want to try and get pregnant? When can I start trying?
  • When should I have tests to check my fertility?

Questions for reflection

Thinking about your answers to these questions may help you make decisions about fertility.

  • Has cancer changed my life goals, including having a child?
  • If I decide not to have a child, what has led me to this decision? Are there benefits to not having a child?
  • If I have a child, is it important that it is biologically related to me?
  • What does my partner think?
  • Which fertility option appeals to me and why?

If you want to become a parent, add to your family or even if you’ve not yet thought about having children, this information explains the ways in which you can preserve your fertility before and during treatment.

We cannot give advice about the best ways to preserve fertility. You need to discuss this with your doctors.

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