Having cervical cancer alone may not affect your pregnancy or cause miscarriage. But some treatment options may cause complications, including an increased risk of pregnancy loss.
Your cervix is the part of your uterus that connects to your vagina. If you have cervical cancer, certain treatments may increase your risk of miscarriage. But many people can have healthy pregnancies after receiving a cervical cancer diagnosis.
One challenge of dealing with cervical cancer while pregnant is that treatment options are limited in order to protect your baby. Similarly, undergoing treatment for cervical cancer before pregnancy may raise the risk of miscarriage later on.
By working with your healthcare team, you may be able to avoid some of the more common pregnancy-related challenges that can come from a cervical cancer diagnosis and cancer treatment.
Treatment for cervical cancer that does not involve a hysterectomy (removal of your uterus) may include surgical removal of your cervix, as well as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both to kill cancer cells in your cervix. Any of these treatments may raise your risk of miscarriage or affect your ability to get pregnant.
Surgery to remove your cervix, called trachelectomy, usually leaves your uterus intact, meaning that pregnancy is possible after the procedure.
Depending on the extent and stage of cervical cancer, some people may need additional treatment, such as radiation therapy, a simple or radical hysterectomy, or both.
Because cervical cancer is usually a slow-growing cancer, it’s possible that a diagnosis during pregnancy may have little impact on the health of your baby or on your miscarriage risk. But various cancer treatments may affect your miscarriage risk.
The researchers found that excisional treatment did not raise the risk of miscarriage or significant health problems for the baby, but ablative treatment was associated with a higher risk of miscarriage.
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Your doctor may advise you to have a cesarean delivery at around 37 weeks of pregnancy to help speed up treatment. Your treatment might include a hysterectomy, which surgeons can perform at the same time as a cesarean delivery.
Receiving chemotherapy during the first trimester raises the risk of miscarriage or low birth weight. Treatment options for a cervical cancer diagnosis during the second or third trimester may include waiting until after delivery for a hysterectomy or other therapy.
Chemotherapy may be an option, too, particularly if the cancer is stage 2, 3, or 4 at diagnosis. A
Your doctor may also recommend a treatment called a cold knife conization, which is a surgical procedure to remove a small amount of tissue containing suspicious cells from your cervix. A
Early on, cervical cancer may have
Various cancer treatments pose a greater risk to the health of your baby than the cancer itself does.
The outlook for a pregnant person with cervical cancer is about the same as it is for someone who has the disease but is not pregnant, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.
The National Cancer Institute suggests that if cervical cancer is diagnosed and treated at an early stage, the average 5-year
Do they check for cervical cancer during pregnancy?
You can have a cervical cancer screening at any time before becoming pregnant or during pregnancy. In many cases, your first prenatal visit with a doctor will include a Pap smear to check for any suspicious cells in your cervix.
Can a woman with cervical cancer get pregnant?
If you’ve received a diagnosis of cervical cancer, you should wait until after treatment to try to become pregnant. If your treatment involves a procedure that spares your uterus, then a healthy pregnancy is quite possible. But if your treatment involves a hysterectomy or radiation therapy, pregnancy will not be possible.
Where is there pain with cervical cancer?
If you experience pain due to cervical cancer, you’ll usually feel it in your lower abdomen, your lower back, and in your pelvic area between your hips.
If you’ve had treatment for cervical cancer or recently received a cervical cancer diagnosis and you’re hoping to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about the risks associated with your cancer diagnosis and treatment.
If you receive a cervical cancer diagnosis while pregnant, understand that many factors will determine your course of action, including how far along you are, the stage of the cancer, your medical history, and any current medical concerns.
Be prepared to work with a multidisciplinary team of health professionals to get the best outcome for you and your baby.