Fertility after Leukemia treatment

Selina M. Luger, MD
Last Modified: December 30, 2001

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Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I am a 24-year-old female who had APL leukemia in august 1999. I took Ara-C, Daunorubicin, and Retnoic acid pills. I would like to try to have a baby with my husband and need to know if the chemo could have caused damage to the eggs and or if the risks of having a handicapped child are very great. I am really worried about it. I have become depressed due to thinking I might not be able to have kids. Please help me or lead me in the direction I need to go to get answers.  


Selina M. Luger, MD, Director of the Leukemia Program and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

Usually the chemotherapy and pills that you received are not expected to affect fertility. If you have resumed regular menses that is a good sign. It is not safe to conceive while you are on these medications, however, if you have been off all medicines for at least 3 months, there is no increased risk of birth defects.

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