Determining fertility after cancer
As soon as I had finished the last of my cancer treatment, I was anxious to get some tests done to see what damage had been done to my reproductive system and what implications this would have on my future fertility.I was 35 years old at this stage, but the tests I did back then are the same as those performed on women over 40 who wish to determine their reproductive potential.
The first thing to test for is ovarian reserve, the potential of an ovary to produce eggs capable of fertilization, so the doctor will want to check your FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and estrogen levels.
FSH is the hormone for stimulating the growth of follicles in the ovary and a simple blood test performed on the 3rd day of your menstrual cycle, will provide an indicator of your potential fertility.
Most fertile women have FSH levels below 10 mIU/ml at Day 3, but don’t panic if yours are higher than this. When I was first tested after treatment, my levels were so high (in and around 82), that I despaired! The levels came back down again after a year, although they still remain higher than the optimum. (Again, remember, this may be the case for any woman over the age of 40, with or without a history of cancer).
There are other tests which can also be performed to determine your reproductive potential after cancer and if you would like to find out more about this, then please click on this link.