Female Fertility Post Cancer/Chemo

Please feel free to read, share your thoughts, your stories and connect with others!
TiredandTroubled
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2021 7:11 am

Female Fertility Post Cancer/Chemo

Postby TiredandTroubled » Sat Jul 17, 2021 6:22 am

Can anyone share any positive stores about getting pregnant post-chemo/cancer? I’m only 29 and getting worries I won’t be able to have kids.

I’m going in for my surgery next week and still don’t know what stage I’m in.
29F DX 7/19
CC Sigmoid Colon
Size: 7CM
CEA before surgery: 16

Utwo
Posts: 276
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 10:14 am
Location: T.O.

Re: Female Fertility Post Cancer/Chemo

Postby Utwo » Sun Jul 18, 2021 3:25 pm

Have you already harvested and saved your eggs?
It may be required in case of chemotherapy or radiation.
58 yo male at diagnosis: T1bN0M0, 0/15 nodes, low grade/moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma
03/2016 colonoscopy: 2 small polyps removed in left colon; CEA = 1.3
04/2016 colonoscopy: caecum sessile 3.5 cm polyp piecemeal removed with kind of clear margins
05/2016 "prophylactic" laparoscopic right hemicolectomy - bleeding, leak, infection
06/2017 CT scan, colonoscopy OK; CEA = 1.6
A lot of funny stuff discovered by CT scans in liver, kidney, lungs, arteries, gallbladder, lymph node, pancreas

Rock_Robster
Posts: 575
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:27 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Female Fertility Post Cancer/Chemo

Postby Rock_Robster » Sun Jul 18, 2021 9:21 pm

It’s a very good question, and one of the right things to be thinking about now.

Colon surgery itself shouldn’t impact fertility, and nor should simply having had colon cancer - but of course nothing is zero risk in the medical world.

I agree with the above; radiation is quite high risk for permanent infertility, while chemotherapy can cause infertility which sometimes reverses after treatment. Either can occasionally also induce an early menopause (I don’t think this is common, and believe is more likely from radiation), which would clearly impact fertility.

I’d strongly suggest a consult with a fertility specialist (preferably one with some oncology knowledge) to discuss options. Fortunately my oncologist encouraged me to freeze sperm before treatment, as my count is now zero since pelvic radiation.

Best of luck,
Rob
39M Australia
2018 Dx RC, 12cm high
Mod diff, EMVI+ LVI+. 4 liver mets
pT3N1aM1a Stage IVa. MSS NRAS G13R
CEA: Nov-18= 14, Mar-19= 2.4, Aug-19 <2.0, Mar-20=2.2, May-20=1.9, Jun-20=2.1, Sep-20: 2.1, Dec-20: 2.3, Mar-21=2.5, Jul-21=3.1
11/18 FOLFOX x6
3/19 Liver resection
5/19 25x pelvic radiation; complete met. response
07/19 ULAR w ileo, 1/27 LN+
08/19 Found liver spot
08/19 FOLFOX x1, FOLFOXIRI x1, FOLFIRI x5
12/19 Liver resection
02/20 Ileo reversed
03/20 NED (CT/PET/MRI/scope) - latest scans Jul-21

User avatar
GreenLakeGirl
Posts: 777
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:55 am
Location: Pacific NW

Re: Female Fertility Post Cancer/Chemo

Postby GreenLakeGirl » Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:10 am

Please, PLEASE reach out to your surgical team tomorrow. This is not a topic that you can get your own information from the web and wing it.

Rock_Robster, colon surgery CAN impact a woman's fertility, and it's frustrating to see someone suggest otherwise. I just read a statistic that up to 50% of women struggle with fertility after a J-pouch surgery; I don't know any recent stats for colorectal cancer. Doctors don't often mention fertility issues to female patients, which I find so paternalistic. I don't really understand it...maybe they aren't used to diagnosing colon cancer in women of childbearing age; maybe some don't want patients to consider delaying surgery or treatment; maybe it isn't a topic that colorectal surgeons are taught to talk about? Regardless, YOU will have to be the one to address this with your team. Tell them you want to talk to a fertility specialist and ask them your questions yourself.

I was a mom to a 2 year old when I was diagnosed with colon cancer; at the time, we hoped to have a second. After five surgeries, six months of chemo, and two major infections, I wasn't able to get pregnant a second time, and honestly, it was a long recovery time before I was able to ask about my chances. I was already over 35, so that was time I didn't have. My surgeon briefly mentioned post-cancer fertility, but he really downplayed any need for concern. I felt like I needed to be tough and just go straight to surgery, and that it was wussy of me to wait and talk to a specialist or even freeze eggs. My own fault for not being more assertive.

I have seen other doctors since who were surprised that I was wasn't told how hard cancer treatment would be on my body. With each additional abdominal surgery—the first was laparoscopic, but the next three were not—my ovaries and fallopian tubes were moved out of the way for them to get at my small intestines. One of my Jpouch surgeries involved "tacking" my ovaries in place, but I don't know how that lasted over the remaining surgeries. Additionally, radiation (which I didn't have) will certainly impact your fertility.

Granted, my experience is ten years old by now. Maybe things have changed for the better, but please don't ask us when you should be asking a fertility specialist with experience with CRC patients.
2009, age 37 with a 2yo: CC, IIIB (T4N1M0). IBD history
2010-11: FOLFOX, 12 rounds. 5 surgeries (3-step Ileal j-pouch, infection, VATS)
Currently NED.
Mom, you can go the hard way if you want, but the easy way is much easier. ~my 3yo

User avatar
GreenLakeGirl
Posts: 777
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:55 am
Location: Pacific NW

Re: Female Fertility Post Cancer/Chemo

Postby GreenLakeGirl » Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:49 am

Making a second post to add this:
You asked for positive stories, not my rant, but I want to leave it intact because I feel passionately about women having more knowledge about their fertility options. I do remember one or two women here getting pregnant after a cancer diagnosis and doing well! User manders got pregnant after a Stage 3 diagnosis. There was Allison, a colonclub model from 2009: https://www.colonclub.com/our-stories/w ... son-sandor and a stage 4 lung cancer patient who used a surrogate: https://www.cancertodaymag.org/pages/Fa ... ility.aspx
2009, age 37 with a 2yo: CC, IIIB (T4N1M0). IBD history
2010-11: FOLFOX, 12 rounds. 5 surgeries (3-step Ileal j-pouch, infection, VATS)
Currently NED.
Mom, you can go the hard way if you want, but the easy way is much easier. ~my 3yo

boxhill
Posts: 730
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:40 am

Re: Female Fertility Post Cancer/Chemo

Postby boxhill » Tue Jul 20, 2021 8:46 pm

Thank you, GreenLakeGirl, for administering a dose of reality. Positive stories do nothing to save anyone's fertility. Action does. I am constantly outraged by the lack of information given women about the effect of radiation, in particular, on their fertility and on their sex lives. I think it is malpractice, especially since there ARE measures women can take to preserve both. But they have to know BEFORE getting radiation.
F, 64 at DX CRC Stage IV
3/17/18 blockage, r hemi
11 of 25 LN,5 mesentery nodes
5mm liver met
pT3 pN2b pM1
BRAF wild, KRAS G12D
dMMR, MSI-H
5/18 FOLFOX
7/18 and 11/18 CT NED
12/18 MRI 5mm liver mass, 2 LNs in porta hepatis
12/31/18 Keytruda
6/19 Multiphasic CT LNs normal, Liver stable
6/28/19 Pause Key, predisone for joint pain
7/31/19 Restart Key
9/19 CT stable
Pain: all fails but Celebrex
12/23/19 CT stable
5/19 MRI stable/NED
Stop Key
All MRIs NED


Return to “Colon Talk - Colon cancer (colorectal cancer) support forum”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Hooandtrue93, Static500 and 6 guests