Has anyone else had IVF following cancer treatment?

I just wanted to know if anyone on the site has experience of going through IVF treatment after cancer treatment. I had borderline ovarian tumours diagnosed last summer and both ovaries removed. Before my ovaries were removed I had IVF treatment and 8 eggs were saved. My cancer treatment isn't considered complete until I have a full hysterectomy, but the oncologist and gynae consider it's safe enough to try to achieve a pregnancy for just now, with regular CT scan checks in between tries. I'm aware that borderline is very rare and that there can't be many women in my position. I would just really like to know if anyone else has any similar experience as it is quite isolating.

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  • Not me, sorry - although I would very much like to have been given the option to conceive, my cancer was uterine and ovarian both at stage 3b.

    It will be very difficult for you to assess the risks involved here and you will need to listen to the medical advice, but make your choice also based on what you and your partner can cope with in terms of anxiety and emotional trauma and risk. My own partner did not cope well with the cancer trauma and our relationship turned in on itself.

    I can assure you that life is well worth living even if you do not go down the pregnancy route. Living with cancer survival creates long-term anxieties and challenges of its own. 10 years down the line, I have invested all my energy into my own quality of life, started a new and highly creative business and totally changed my lifestyle to minimise the risk of recurrence. The ripples from a cancer diagnosis go on and on. We are all relatively isolated on our own personal 'cancer journey', but we can also only make our own choices and decisions based on what we are prepared to accept or give up, or make out of ourselves without that necessarily being procreation.

  • Thank you Guinevere for your message - as you say I need to listen to the doctors, and as they are happy to give me this chance at IVF, I am certainly giving it a try. Like you, my career is very important to me, and I am aware that as I woman I am not defined by my uterus! However, I am lucky indeed to have this chance at trying to have a child and feel that for me at the moment, that is more important than my career. I am cheered to hear from someone further on in their journey who has made a fulfilling life without children.

    I wish you all the very best on your onward journey and thank you again for your message,

    Catherine

  • Hi Catherine...

    Sorry I cant add anything as I tried for kids and then all this ended my chances.. I sometimes wonder if I could have waited and not had the treatment straight away but we were struggling to conceive in any case.. and yes there is life even without kids but it has taken me a while (3 years plus) to realise this.. good luck to you..

    Guinevere sorry I just have to ask what business did you set up and what changes did you make to your lifestyle.. sorry if you dont want to say but I find it inspirational to hear stories like yours..

    Gilly x

  • Hi Gilly, thank you for your reply, I totally know what you mean about wondering whether one could have waited to have treatment, I sometimes wish they hadn't discovered my disease when they did (I know that sounds bonkers), but I know that even if we had already started trying, the cancer might have meant I would never have conceived anyway. Thank you too for sharing that you feel that you have found new meaning in life without kids, that is comforting too.

    All the very best to you,

    love

    Cat xx

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