Switching off ovaries and having a first child post chemo?

I am now 35 and haven’t had children yet. I was diagnosed with BC in Oct 2008 and had my surgery within 10 days of diagnosis. My partner and I hadn’t even got round to discussing having children yet when we had to make the decision as to whether I should have IVF before my chemo started. Luckily, he was great and suggested I should freeze some embryos in case it was my only chance of having children which I thought was am amazing thing for him to do for me.

I had IVF, followed by chemo and radio and have been on tamoxifen for a year. I have found it quite lonely being a younger BC survivor as my local support group are all over 55 - They’re lovely but don’t share the same issues as me.

I am back at work but struggling with extreme fatigue, have put on 2 stone during my treatment which I can’t shift all of and am knackered most of the time. However, I do feel like life is getting back to normal but my Oncologist has now thrown something else in the mix - should we switch off my ovaries? Now I’m not sure what to do as I don’t know what the risk of not doing this is and whether I should be continuing down the route of having children.

Has anyone else been through similar? Also, has anyone had their first child after treatment?


Hi Dorset girl. I’m slightly different to you in that I have 3 children, but similar in that I have frozen embryos as my hubby and I were going through ivf before diagnosis last august. I’m 37. I’m on tamoxifen and my onc was goingvto switch my ovaries off, but has decided that as my prognosis was good that it wouldn’t make much difference.

My understanding is that if you have embryos then it doesn’t matter if your ovaries are working or not to successfully implant them. I guess the real question is the hormone status of your tumour and am guessing it was er+ if you onc was talking about switching off ovaries.

Mine was er+ and my philosophy is that if it’s going to come back it will whether I go ahead with a pregnancy or not do on that basis we will probably have them implanted next year and my onc is supporting

Hope this has been of some help. Please let me know how you get in as it does seem like we are in similar boats.

Good luck


Thanks for your comment. After talking with the oncologist it seems that we have come up with a similar feeling. She did the adjuvent online thing yesterday to calculate the risk of recurrence so with that knowledge I now feel a bit like you. As you say, if cancer decides to come back, we can’t stop it. I think you have to live life positively & enjoy it. After all, it’s unlikely that anything we have done in our lives caused the cancer in the first place.

As for children, I’m one year on from the end of my treatment so will be following their advice to wait for 2 yeas after treatment. I’d rather make sure the chemo’s out of my system, my body’s fully recovered & the 2 years of tamoxifen has had the chance to build up some resistance.

I’m assuming that if someone gets pregnant after ER+ BC, that they’ll be keeping a pretty close eye on us anyway. Xx