Pregnancy after Chemotherapy

Last Modified: February 19, 2006


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I am 23 years old and am currently in remission from Hodgkin's lymphoma. My doctors have given me the okay to start trying to have a baby in June of this year. I went through chemotherapy for six months and radiation to my chest area. I am wondering what kind of risk factors there are for birth defects? My oncologist recommended that I have an amniocentesis.


Linda Jacobs, PhD, CRNP, AOCN, BC, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, responds:

You have no risk factors for birth defects related to these prior Hodgkin's lymphoma treatments. This has been studied and confirmed. However, this does not necessarily hold true for people actively receiving chemotherapy . Not knowing much about your treatment, I would suggest you see a cardiologist if you had chest radiation and/or chemotherapy with anthracyclines. They can monitor you throughout your pregnancy for any cardiac issues, if indicated.