Infertility and chemo


I finished chemo 4 weeks ago (4AC and 4TAX). During chemo I had 3 periods, but they stopped during the 4th month. I’ve also been having horrible hot flushes. Does that mean that I am now menopausal and am infertile? If not, when will I find out whether or not I am infertile? Not until I stop taking Tamoxifen? I feel very sad at the thought, but would rather know rather than wait 5 years to find out so that I can start coming to terms with it, rather than just worrying about it and also worrying about whether I should stop Tamoxifen early. Are there any tests I can have?


Hello Sandytoes,
Afraid I don’t know about the fertility question, but I see from your other posts that like me you were on docetaxel. I have also had horrible hot flushes and night sweats which I have put down to the chemo (Ithink it is one of the many possible side effects). I’m 43 by the way. I’m also going in for surgery next week - mast. and node clearance. Maybe it’s worth contacting your BCN for information.
Take care

Hi Sandytoes

I asked about this, even if it does seem you have all the symptoms of an early menopause it doesn’t mean all your eggs are ruined, which is the important bit.

And after 5 years of barely any hormones, once they go back on again afterwards you could still concieve.

I asked how I would know personally, because though as you may remember I had poly cystic ovaries and was going through fertility treatment when this was diagnosed, I’m still holding out a little hope as Tamoxifen can clear all the cysts up and I think it’s that which was stopping me.

I asked my local fertility specialist - now after 2 years of Tamoxifen or 5 years, he can do an investigation by using an exploratory camera,have a look at ovaries and assess if any chemo damage done etc, have more of an idea of what is happening.

Though I’m going to have to do the full 5 years due to size of lump removed and grade 3. Anything less would be, and I quote, probably suicidal.

You should get yourself in with the hospitals assisted conception unit and they can advise and discuss with your onc ahead of time.


Thanks EK.

Wow! That would be the only bonus of this cr*p - if the Tamoxifen cleared up your cysts!

So…I know the chemo can damage the ovaries as it’s such nasty stuff - but do you know if can Tamoxifen too? People keep telling me different things. One girl (who’s had chemo and just started Tamoxifen) told me that Tamoxifen can’t make you infertile and another told me she was having Zoladex to protect her fertility as Tamoxifen can leave you infertile…??

I just want to know one way or another!! However, will just have to make it to and get through the next 5 years and then worry about it without just wishing the time away (which is what I’ve been doing since diganosis).


EK is there a chance tamoxifen can clear up polycystic ovaries? I like you, was havin fertility treatment before all this happened for pcos and the thought it might restart my ovaries had crossed my mind! Have no idea though… Xx

Hi Sandytoes,

It’s a difficult one to ascertain for sure. I went through a chemo-induced menopause (they put me on Zoladex to protect ovaries pre-chemo so it’s that that shut them down, but it’s still a chemically induced menopause) and once I was through chemo and off zoladex my periods returned 6 months later.

Please note that my cancer was triple negative though so I am not taking Tamoxifen or any other treatment.

They are able to measure various hormones to establish your ovarian reserve level (these include FSH, LH, and AMH) but I’m not sure if that can be measured whilst you are on Tamoxifen - hopefully someone else can answer that for you.

In my case the levels from when my periods returned to 6 months later (so 12 months after chemo) were somewhat low and aren’t indicative of the quality of the eggs anyway.

Not sure that helps given not on Tamoxifen - but maybe a little bit :slight_smile:


Hi sandytoes

I’ve bumped up the thread about " periods and chemo, did they return and when?" for you. There’s quite a lot of info from numerous ladies which you may find useful.