Pregnancy after cervical cancer
Pregnancy after cervical cancer surgery may seem like such an impossible dream. As long as you are diagnosed early enough and only undergo a LEEP or cone biopsies, you are probably able to have a baby. You may need help from a specialist either before or during pregnancy, but it should still be possible.
One thing that is reassuring to know is that HPV is not passed on to babies during pregnancy or labor and delivery. HPV does not cross the placenta. So that's one thing you don't have to worry about!
Another thing that you shouldn't worry about is pregnancy causing the cancer to come back. Cervical cancer is not like some types of breast cancer that are estrogen-dependent. Pregnancy hormones do not cause cervical cancer. HPV may show up again on your Pap smear during pregnancy, but it usually disappears spontaneously after delivery. My Pap test during pregnancy was actually normal.
Complications from surgery can be an obstacle to conception, and may also affect your pregnancy, prenatal testing, and labor and delivery. Potential problems are cervical stenosis, decreased cervical mucus, and premature dilation or the so-called incompetent cervix.
Cervical scarring can cause stenosis, or stiffness, that makes opening of the cervix difficult and even painful. Sometimes even the small amount that the cervix opens for a menstrual period can be painful.
Loss of cervical tissue can also affect conception by decreasing cervical mucus. These secretions provide nutrients to the sperm.
Premature cervical dilation can cause premature labor and possibly miscarriage or stillbirth. If you are close to term, it isn't so much of a problem.
None of these problems, however, has to mean "game over." If you have stenosis and your doctor thinks that it is preventing the sperm from getting past the cervix, you can have intrauterine insemination performed (IUI). During an IUI, the doctor passes a thin, flexible tube through the cervix and injects the sperm into the uterus.
The same treatment can be helpful if you don't have very much cervical secretions.
If you have premature dilation, and it is caught in time, the doctor can place a stitch called a cerclage in the cervix to hold it shut. Bedrest may also be suggested.
If you have actually had a miscarriage due to premature dilation, doctors can put in the cerclage before you get pregnant. This is a specialty surgery for which you need to find a good specialist. After it's done, it's permanent, and you will have to have a C-section for birth.
The fact is that pregnancy after cervical cancer and treatment with LEEP, cone biopsy or trachelectomy will not be the same as a normal pregnancy. You will need to see a perinatologist starting early in your pregnancy to monitor your cervix, but for most women, nothing bad happens.
In fact, I enjoyed the extra attention because it meant I got more ultrasounds to see my baby! It was fun to see him every month. So in my experience, pregnancy after cervical cancer went really well.
Go to Having babies after cervical cancer from Pregnancy after cervical cancer
Go to Incompetent cervix
Go to Labor and delivery
Go to Cervical mucus
Go to Cervical stenosis
Go to Cerclage
Go to Perinatologist
Go to Prenatal testing
Go to Home birth after cervical surgeries
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