Surgery or radiation therapy for cancer of the uterus may mean you are unable to become pregnant. Before treatment starts, ask your doctor or a fertility specialist about what options are available to you if you were hoping to have a baby.
It may be possible to preserve the ovaries (e.g. if you are 45 years or under) and sometimes the uterus, so you can still have children (see Fertility). However, this is an option only in certain cases, and your doctor will explain the risks and benefits.
Learning that your reproductive organs will be removed or will no longer function and that you won’t be able to have children can be devastating. Even if your family is complete or you did not want children, you may still experience a sense of loss and grief. These reactions are normal.
Speaking to a counsellor, psychologist, social worker or a cancer nurse about your feelings and individual situation can be helpful. You can also call Cancer Council 13 11 20 to talk to a health professional about your concerns.
For more on this, see Fertility and cancer.
Podcast: Sex and Cancer
A/Prof Orla McNally, Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist, Director Oncology/Dysplasia, Royal Women’s Hospital, Honorary Clinical Associate Professor, University of Melbourne, and Director of Gynaecology Tumour Stream, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, VIC; A/Prof Yoland Antill, Medical Oncologist, Peninsula Health, Parkville Familial Cancer Centre, Cabrini Health and Monash University, VIC; Grace Guerzoni, Consumer; Zeina Hayes, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria; Bronwyn Jennings, Gynaecology Oncology Clinical Nurse Consultant, Mater Hospital Brisbane, QLD; A/Prof Christopher Milross, Director of Mission and Radiation Oncologist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Mariad O’Gorman, Clinical Psychologist, Liverpool Cancer Therapy Centre and Bankstown Cancer Centre, NSW.
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