Fertility After Cancer Treatment

Treatment for cancer may make it more difficult for a woman to have a baby. The fertility specialists at UI Health in Chicago can help.

Our team has expertise in preserving fertility before cancer treatment. We can also help women take the steps necessary to have a safe and healthy pregnancy after cancer treatment.

Pregnancy After Cancer

Some of the steps our team may recommend after cancer treatment and before pregnancy include:

  • Ovarian reserve testing: If you want to become pregnant after cancer treatment, you should consider having ovarian reserve testing within 4-6 months after treatment ends. This testing will measure your remaining supply of eggs and help you and your fertility team better understand how likely it is that you will be able to become pregnant.
  • Testing for organ damage: If you received chemotherapy or radiation as part of your cancer treatment, our fertility specialists may recommend that you be checked for lung, heart, kidney, and liver damage before becoming pregnant.
  • Hereditary genetic syndrome testing and counseling: Some women may have a genetic condition in which the cancer can be transmitted from one generation to the next one.

If you have a hereditary genetic syndrome, you may benefit from pre-pregnancy genetic counseling and testing.

You may also want to consider in vitro fertilization (IVF) with preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to find out if you have embryos which are carriers for a particular cancer gene so that you may avoid transmission of that gene to your children.

Understanding Your Options

Your UI Health fertility specialists will work closely with you to help you understand the results of your testing and to explain the pros and cons of all the options available.

Remember, even in cases where a problem like premature ovarian failure means that you can't get pregnant, there may be other options to help you become a parent. These may include becoming pregnant through a donated egg or embryo, having someone else carry your pregnancy for you (gestational surrogacy) or adoption.

Make an Appointment with a Fertility Specialist

Our fertility specialists are pleased to answer any questions and discuss our Fertility Preservation Program with you during a consultation.

To schedule an appointment, please call the Reproductive Medicine Program at 312.355.2634.