Chemo, ovary suppression and... period!

Hi all
I had my first chemo (FEC) 2 weeks ago, and am on gonapeptyl depot to suppress ovaries and today, my period started. I really didn’t expect it to what with all those drugs in my body trying to stop them!

Anyone else continue to have periods even though going through these things?

I’m 36 and miscarried shortly after being diagnosed, and then attempted fertility treatment to freeze embryos which didn’t work, so I am hoping this is a good sign.
Flora xxx

Hi Flora
I’m 50 and still having periods had my 2nd chemo yesterday FEC, but had a period 2 weeks ago I thought that it might sort them out looks like I was mistaken.
Carole x

hi flora.
i have never had ovarian suppression but had 6 x Fec ending in august this year. i had periods (not like clockwork but regular to a fashion!)all the way thro my chemo and after. i’m 33. xxxx

I was on Zoladex for ovary suppression and was warned that I might well have a period after I started and I did, about two weeks in, but they stopped after that.

OH recalls that we were told I might have some bleeding, but i’d forgotten that. Oh well, I shall just have to wait a few months and hope that the ovary suppression does its thing and I still have a chance of becoming pregnant again at the end of all this!

Thanks all xxx

Hi Flora

I have a young daughter and was just about to try for another child when i found the lump! I have had my surgery and just about to start chemo, but have to make a decision about freezing my eggs or not very quickly as it will delay the chemo. I was sorry to read that your IVF wasnt successful. However from your experience is it a path worth pursuing or would you not recommend it? When I speak to the IVF docs it’s all doom and gloom - no guarantees, my age, very low percentage success rate etc. Thanks

Hi Zebs
Given the chance again, I would still try it. I wasn’t lucky, but if you have the time, it is worth a try. I didn’t find the injections a problem (you will have one, possibly two injections to give yourself, daily for a couple of weeks. They’re given in the stomach and if you practice, they don’t hurt).

I considered it an insurance policy if the ovary suppression doesn’t work and I end up in menopause. My oncologist today, though, said that the FEC-T regime isn’t the harshest from a fertility point of view, so I may be fine and come out of it still fertile, but I still wanted to give the IVF a go and ovary suppression, as I have no children yet and would still like the opportunity to try again.

Figures for IVF are not fantastic, but they can do ICSI to increase the chances of the egg(s) ferilising (they inject a good sperm in, rather than just letting the sperm swim around with the egg and do their own work!), and freezing a fertilised egg is more likely to survive the thaw than an unfertlised egg. I think they ahve recently improved the defrosting techniques too, which increases their survival and implantation rates.

The biggest problem is timing, from what I can see. I was referred and have an appointment one week after my ERPC and first meeting with oncologist. They started the IVF treatment that day, but in theory the day of my ERPC was day 1 of my cycle, and ideally they like to start on day 21 in order to fully control your cycle by drugs instead of letting your body do it. So I was part way through, which may be why they only found 1 egg. Overhearing through the curtains on the egg collection day, the lady next to me had the same. Sadly my 1 egg didn’t fertilize correctly, so couldn’t be used, but if you get the timing right you may get more eggs and have more of a chance of success. I didn’t wait as it would have delayed chemo by another 3-4 weeks and I’d been told chemo should start within 4-8 weeks of surgery to have the best effect.

Sorry your IVF folk haven’t been very positive. Mine didn’t question it, but possibly thats because I have had 2 miscarriages and have no other children. What age are you?

It’s one of the ironies of cancer treatment that both Zoladex and Tamoxifen are also used to treat infertility. I’d kind of resigned myself to never having children when the surgeon lobbed that comment at me…