Cervical Cancer and Pregnancy
Treatment options for pregnant woman involve many aspects. Doctors will evaluate the well-being of the fetus and the impact on the reproductive system.
It is unfortunate that a woman cannot get pregnant after treatment for most stages of cervical cancer. This is because treatment usually includes the removal of the uterus during surgery or the ovaries are damaged during radiation therapy.
A woman can most likely still get pregnant after being treated for stage 0 cervical cancer only if a biopsy was performed. Stage 0 indicates there were precancerous cells present only on the surface of the cervix. However, there are several conditions which need to be met before a woman considers pregnancy. If all of these conditions are not met, then the risk is too great that the cancer could reoccur.
- The cancer cells must be confined to only the cervix
- The cancer was less than 3 mm deep into the tissues of the cervix
- The affected area was no larger than 10 mm across at any point
- There is no sign of cancer in the blood vessels, lymphatic vessels or
If the patient was treated with radiation therapy then most likely the patient is now infertile and pregnancy is not an option. Surgery, of course, removes the uterus which prevents pregnancies from forming.
There is one other way in which a woman can still become pregnant after being treated for cervical cancer. A woman who opted for a radical trachelectomy still has part of her cervix intact. A radical trachelectomy is used only during early cancer detection during stage 0 or stage IA. The procedure removes cancer cells but leaves enough of the cervix to support a pregnancy. Most of the cervix is removed but the womb and the upper part of the cervix is left intact. The doctor will stitch around the opening to hold it closed. This procedure significantly increases the risk of miscarriages and premature births because the cervix often is unable to support the weight from the pregnancy. This procedure requires the baby to be born by Caesarean section.
For women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer while already pregnant, the correct course of action will depend on how far along in the pregnancy you are.
If you are more than three months pregnant, then most doctors will allow you to continue the pregnancy to completion without treatment. Treatment will begin as soon as the baby is born. There are many factors used to determine treatment options such as how quickly the cancer will spread. It is most likely the doctor will recommend an early caesarian section and complete removal of the uterus.
If you are less than three months into your pregnancy, then most doctors will want to start treatment immediately. This is because doctors feel that more than six months is too long to wait for treatment. Delaying treatment for more than six months gives the cancer time to spread throughout the body. Starting treatment will normally end the pregnancy.
This page was last updated:
April 10, 2007It is not the intention of Cervicalcancer.org to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided, and Cervicalcancer.org urges you to consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your personal questions.