There are a few things to consider if you are a woman with an estrogen-sensitive (ER+) and / or progesterone-sensitive (PR+) cancer. These considerations do not rule out being a biological mom, they just complicate matters and will affect your decision-making about fertility preservation or future childbearing.
- You will likely be prescribed a medication to take for five years called Tamoxifen or Letrozole, both of which are damaging to a fetus, so you will not want to get pregnant while taking either of these drugs.
- If you do not have the enzyme to metabolize Tamoxifen, you may be prescribed Lupron which suppresses your ovaries so you don’t produce female hormones, putting you into medical menopause, making it difficult, though not impossible to get pregnant. In the off chance you were to get pregnant while taking Lupron, the fetus couldn’t survive without your female hormones.
- You cannot use birth control forms that use hormones like the pill and some IUDs if you are ER+ or PR+.
- Some doctors believe there is a risk to your health if you use hormone injections to harvest your eggs for freezing before undergoing treatment, though this concern hasn’t been well substantiated. We address this risk and your options in the Protect Your Fertility section.
Check out our video diaries to hear how other women with ER+ or PR+ cancers protected their fertility or successfully got pregnant after cancer.