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Awkward Auntie Question No. 14

woman pensive in car

Ever had a question about relationships or sex that you just can’t ask your oncology care provider?  Ever felt too shy to ask a nurse or doctor a question but really need the answer?  Now you can ask those questions and get answers from Dr. Anne Katz, the Awkward Auntie!

Question:  Can a cancer survivor be pregnant and have her baby in the future?

(submitted by a female, brain cancer survivor)

Awkward Auntie:  This is one of those questions that is answered as “It depends”. There are a LOT of factors that affect fertility for female cancer survivors. These include the type of cancer, the types and length of treatment, and the age at which the woman was treated. Having periods is not a guarantee that you could get pregnant. When the woman wants to get pregnant, tests can be done to see how her ovaries have reacted to the treatment. If the woman had eggs or embryos frozen before treatment, pregnancy may be possible. This is where fertility specialists become an important part of the woman’s health care team.

What is important to remember is that even if the woman is not having periods, she may be able to get pregnant and if that happens at a less than optimal time in her life (during treatment, when busy with school or life, without a stable relationship etc). This is why it’s important to use birth control for all sexual activity. Barrier methods (condoms and/or dental dams for oral sex) will also prevent the woman from getting a sexually transmitted infection.

You can learn more about this great program, find the answers to past questions, and submit a question of your own by going here!

More about the Awkward Auntie program:

Dr. Anne Katz, also known as the Awkward Auntie, is a certified sexuality counselor and nurse who has written a couple of books about young adults and cancer – and all the things that happen to your body, relationships, and sex during and after treatment.  She will be answering any and all questions that you send to or that you submit in the form below. You don’t have to give your name or other identifying information – but it might be helpful for her to know how you identify yourself by gender, your age and what kind of cancer and treatment you had.

YOU CAN ASK HER ANYTHING…. Don’t hold back!  Your questions will be answered periodically and posted on our Awkward Auntie page.