Chemo and periods

I’m 49 and still have regular periods so no sign of menopause before diagnosis. I also have a Mirena coil that’s been there for nearly 5 years so is due to come out soon but onc said to leave it until after chemo, don’t know if that’s relevant (bit like the squirrel).

What’s the story on this? I was told by my onc that chemo would almost certainly kick me into menopause, but I’ve had 3xFEC so far and am still having periods. Timing went a bit odd for the first two with only 3 weeks between rather than 4, but I’m now back to my regular 4-week cycle. I haven’t had any hot flushes so it seems my ovaries are coping happily with chemo and don’t intend going to sleep any time soon.

Will they stop? What if they don’t? I’m due Tamoxifen after chemo, along with Herceptin and rads.

hi chocciemuffin im 51, i was bit menopausal before dx,periods got heavy and all over the place but im now up to chemo 4 and have.nt had a period since just after my first chemo. im also having serious hot flushes, day and night. i was told that the chemo would bring on menopause but im not sure if my periods will return after treatment stops- hope not. sue

Hi Cm,

Have been wondering same thing myself, fec 5 today & periods exactly the same as before all the way through so far, every 28 days no worse, no better just exactly the same as they have always been.

hello ladies…

My onc also told me that chemo would put me into early menopause, im 46 and not had a period since starting chemo, i asked onc on tuesday is there a chance they would return he said only a 15% chance, so looks like the hot flushes are with me for a while,

take care


ps, well done sarah, hope se’s are kind to you, ive also had 5 xx

Hi Ladies

I am 47 and finished my Chemotherapy 3 years ago and take Tamoxifen, my periods stopped after the 3rd session of Chemomtherapy. Imagine my suprise that in the last five months I have had 4 periods - only for one day each time. I never thought they would return after such a long time.
Has anyone else experienced this?



You could set your watch as my periods were so regular before chemo. I still had regular periods during 3 x FEC but they stopped on TAX. Finished tax 4 weeks ago and no sign of a period, due to start tamoxifen after rads.

Irregular seems to be the new normal


Hi CM,

My period are all over the place, very irregular and much lighter. I’m 39 and was/am pre menopausal. Had 3 FEC and first Tax yesterday. Had a copper coil fitted one week before chemo started as I was on mini pill and had to stop taking it. Also having night sweats too. Not sure if this is the chemo giving night sweats or the chemopause.



My periods were usual through chemo (FEC),right up to the last chemo session. I was expecting my period about that time 31st March, but it didn’t happen and I haven’t had one since. I am 35, but have history of early menopause in the family.

I am now waiting to see if they come back, or if I start to get hot flushes, etc which hasn’t happened yet. I’m triple negative, so no tamoxifen.


CM - my onc warned me to expect anything… that periods during chemo might stop, might get lighter, might get heavier, might be irregular… and that starting tamoxifen was also no guarantee that they would disappear.

Mine were absolutely as normal through 3 FEC, had one at the same time as first TAX, but nothing since, so that’s, what, three months? As I was 8/8 er+, I hope that they don’t reappear, for my own peace of mind, but am always ‘prepared’… best likened to being a young teen and starting periods all over again… any time, any duration, no rhyme nor reason to it. If periods continue during tamoxifen, and it is a concern to you (tamoxifen doesn’t stop oestregen production, it just prevents it binding… or something, too tired to explain properly), then there are other things that can be done - injections for starters, all the way to ovarian ablation… so do chat to your onc. about possible outcomes/options.


Is it a BAD thing to still have periods? I had been thinking pre-dx that I ought to start finding out a bit about menopause as I’d probably be sliding gently into it some time in the next few years, only to be told by my onc that he was going to get me there pretty darn’ quickly.

I have an onc appt next week so that’s already in my notebook for questions to ask. (That and lots of Qs about rads, and the benefits or not of having Tax rather than FEC for the second half as I’m HER2+.)

Hi all

I’m 51 and was fully expecting chemo to push me into menopause. Well it aint happened yet - i’m due fec 4 on Monday and all that’s happened so far is they’ve gradually got slightly longer in between (say,33 days) and they are, maybe, a tad lighter. I’m not looking forward to the extreme menopause possibility but on the other hand with a ER+ cancer I’d rather my body wasn’t throwing out oestrogen quite so enthusiastically.


I’m 45 and was on the Cerazette contraceptive pill pre-DX, which had the SE of no periods (doesn’t happen for everyone - I was lucky!). This did mean though that I didn’t know how close to the meopause I was - I assume I was pre-menopausal due to no family history of early menopause. I stopped taking it before my op at Christmas and had two very light periods up to FEC2. I’ve had absolutely nothing since and have just finished chemo.

I’ve had hot flushes since starting Tax so assume I’m in chemopause. I start Tamoxifen in three weeks time and my onc has said that I need to tell her if my periods re-start while I’m on it. She’s working on the premise that after two years I’ll be in menopause and will change to an AI but they’ll do blood tests first.

I’m going to have a coil fitted at some point (especially having read the thread aboout Tamoxifen increasing fertility) but my onc has said it must be a normal copper one, definitely not Mirena as I’m ER + (6/8)

Jane xxx

That’s interesting Alto, I am on the Mirena and ER+ (8/8 I think) but onc has told me to leave Mirena there and not change it, I am quite concerned about this but have asked about three times now and always get the same answer. Am seeing him again tonight so may have to ask yet again. There has been no mention of Tamoxifen yet but I am expecting him to drop that on me tonight as he seems to like feeding me info slowly. I am 38 by the way but haven’t had a period since going on the Mirena so have no idea what my body is doing at the moment.

Interesting one this … I was 49 at dx er+ pr- Her2+ with no sign of menopause. Onc said glibly oh as soon as you start chemo you will start the menopause…well after 3 fec and 1 tax they were as regular as ever…but disappeared after tax 2 in January. Now on tamoxifen but no hot flushes to speak of just ocaisionally too warm at night so throw off duvet. So who knows where I am or what happens next??? Have follow up meeting with an onc I have never met before next week so am going armed with a list of questions!

Hi Cm,

am thinking that whilst we are having periods we are still producing normalish amounts of ER so are periods a BAD thing ??? suppose its better for them to come to a halt but that is guess work etc have not been told that.


I was 44 at dx. My periods continued as clockwork through 4 FEC and the first Tax but after the 2nd Tax they stopped.

I’m currently not on TAX, just 6 x FEC (did I really say “just”?) so I’m going to ask my onc next week.

LIF, please let me know what your onc says. And did you have nodes? I know you’re HER2+, but I’m still wondering (read “worrying”) that I ought to be having Tax to go with the Herceptin because of HER2 status regardless of node status, but I can’t find the thing where I read about it. (Linkies if anyone has them.)

My periods stopped on FEC 3. I am now on Tamoxifen, having finished my chemo - and have just had an injection of Zoladex, which is injected every 28 days, for 2 years. If you still have periods at that point, the Zoladex stops them. It basically expels all the oestrogen from your body in about 2 weeks flat!

On the TAX subject, I had it because I had a lot of node involvement, and it is meant to be effective at targeting stray cells. I don’t know about not starting your herceptin immediately. I suppose you could take the opposite view that you will be having active treatment for longer,

Hi Ladies
Apparently you can’t have Herceptin at the same time as FEC so its given after treatment has finished. I had 3 FEC then 3 Tax so my herceptin started on cycle 4. My periods also stoped on FEC 2. What is Zoladex?

hi there zoladex is an ovarian suppressant, I had it for over two years, it puts you in a clinical menopause. my perriods returned after I stopped it and I went on to have to children xxxx edoted to say 2 children!! also that I had chemo 14 years ago when I was 34 periods didn’t stop during chemo but did when I started on zoladex, they returned and continued till now I’m now 48, had 1 FEC so see what happens! xxxxx