Cancer diagnosis and treatment can impact future fertility and have a psychological impact on future pregnancies. Our support Team have some advice on how to navigate this...
Sara says... "What if...?"
Some of the families we support do not feel they have completed the family they hoped to have when a cancer diagnosis comes. If it is safe to do so, post-treatment, they may think about conceiving again.
Then comes the inevitable question:
"What if cancer happens again?"
This is totally understandable after everything you and your family have been through and it is important that you give yourself and your partner time to process the feelings that this thought brings up; both individually and together.
You might choose to speak with a counsellor to help process these feelings.
You can also go to your GP who will either be able to answer your questions directly or can refer you to a specialist. Issues to raise include the medical possibilities following the impact of your treatment and the safety to yourself of a future pregnancy.
Fiona says... "Build support and be prepared"
Knowing that a further pregnancy may be stressful, it makes sense to put robust support in place for yourself and your family, so that you can process the emotional and physical impacts more easily.
Speak to family, friends and loved ones and see if you can arrange for some tasks to be taken off your to-do list to give you more mental space and time to rest.
Build open and active communication with your midwifery team and any other healthcare professionals taking care of you. Make sure they know all about your previous diagnosis and don't be afraid to raise questions and ask for support when needed.
If you have a Mummy's Star Support Worker, we can help you talk through concerns, formulate needs and questions, and get them met or answered.
You can also find lots of information related to fertility and cancer, prior to treatment, at Cancer, Fertility and Me
Jennie says - "Infertility is not the end."
If your cancer or the treatment for it has resulted in infertility, either temporarily or permanently, then you still have the option for your family to grow using a number of different options including using donor eggs, using donated embryos, surrogacy (when another person carries the baby for you) or adoption.
These can be difficult decisions and some options may not be straightforward; some aren’t always funded by the NHS. You can discuss these options with a fertility expert and process the emotional impact of growing your family and potentially having a pregnancy in one of these with a counsellor.
Mummy's Star can support and guide you through future pregnancies following a cancer diagnosis. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get support or self-refer.