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Pregnancy after Hodgkins

dohmann4's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2003

I am a 3 1/2 year survivor of Hodgkins 2B. I completed 4 months of ABVD and 4 weeks of radiation. My husband and I have two children, ages 4 and 7. We are considering trying for a third. But I have my reservations, I am scared that the cancer may come back during or after the pregnancy. My oncologist says everything should be fine. But I have a daily fear of a reoccurance.

I'd like to hear from those of you who have had children after Hodgkins and those who have been in remission for many years.


Posts: 11
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi! I just celebrated my 10th year in remission this April. I have a 5 year old and a 3 year old that I have been blessed with since having cancer.They are healthy and doing great. I was also scared to try to have children after treatment but everything turned out great.God Bless and take care

Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2004

Congratulations on joining the ranks of survivors! I am a 14 year survivor of Hodgkin's and had both of my sons post-cancer. Both were born healthy (over 10lbs. each!) and my health was never impacted. Having cancer changes you, as I'm sure you know all too well, and you can't help but consider it every time something affects your body or your health. I wish you well and hope that if you do decide to have another baby that both of you are healthy and happy!

Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2009

Just curious how long u waited to have your sons, post chemo? I am going on one year post chemo and radiation and am very anxious about starting a family. The information about waiting to get pregnant is not very fact based; very little data out there. Can u share ur experience?
Thanks :)

killbadstuff.com's picture
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2009

GeminiJuneBug: I'm with you...waiting to hear from others. I am almost done with my 6 months of treatment and might have to have radiation. I'm 29 and anxious to get started, but my doctor said I need to wait 2 years from when I get my first clean scan back.

What did everyone else's doctors say??

cathyp's picture
Posts: 373
Joined: Dec 2009

I was 29 when first diagnosed 1 week before my wedding. Had mantle radiation and it was suggested I wait for 1 year for pregnancy. I had a miscarriage, first try, and 3 mos later got pregnant again resulting in a healthy baby girl. When she was born, I ended up weighing less than I did pre-preg. I kept telling my docs I didn't feel quite right. It took about 6 mos of testing to finally get the reocurrence diagnosis. Mentally hard with a baby. Had ABVD and was thinking of having a second child. Waited a year and immediately got pregnant with my second healthy girl. They are now 13 and 16. I was diagnosed 2 yrs ago w/invasive ductual carcinoma and had a double mastectomy. We are keeping on top of potential cardiac issues. Sometimes, it is so hard going through all this post kids. Much easier pre kids! I do thank God for my girls, it is amazing how much life there has been since I was first diagnosed 20 years ago.

Best of luck with whatever decision you make. It isn't easy but it is worth it.

PS: There was no info regarding pregnancy after Hodgkins and it's possible effect on you ova when we were deciding. I even had an amnio on #2 so I was prepared if something was wrong. My family couldn't understand why I wanted this. When I found out all ok, I was able to relax for the next 5 months.

Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 2009

I noticed you said you might have to have radiation...I posted about having radiation. Why MIGHT you...what are the reasons for possibly having to have it and why not have it?? My doc is anti-radiation but wanting me to speak w/ the rad docs just to inform myself. I am also about to complete 6 months of ABVD (in Feb)...my PET scan after 4 cycles came back mass shrunk and nothing lite up (full response to chemo) but I'm thinking I won't be doing radiation. But I'm curious about your story.

Do you have other kids?? My doc never said how long we'd have to wait to start having kids...have to ask that myself at my next appt.

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hodgkoid2003's picture
Posts: 94
Joined: Apr 2009

Though being a male, fertility issues were finalized with me, way back in the 80's courtesy of my treatments. Over the years however, I have seen, and met many people who have been blessed with pregancies, some post, and some during treatments.

Radiation would probably have more of an impact(if more than upper mantle). Undergoing inverted Y (pelvis area) or TBI (total body) while possibly having an effect, because of what they have learned from when I was treated, are able to reduce or minimalize risks.

While some have mentioned the fear of relapsing if pregnant, and the possibility to could exist, the other important thing to consider, is how strong your immune system is prior to getting pregnant (or even just existing male or female). Being pregnant may put a strain on an already stressed out immune system and may need to recover.

One possible suggestion, if your oncologist has not been able to answer you, or if you feel you want more opinions, research second opinions from facilities that deal with late effects (even though you are relatively fresh with treatments, they may have a better idea of years down the line). You can find these facilities at web sites such as Children's Oncology Group and the Cancer Survivor's Project. There are places located all over the US.

Hope this is of help (and I will tell you, I personally know of 3 women in my HD days who got pregnant (ONE WITH TWINS!!!! - definitely wasn't planning that one).

Paul E. (Hodgkoid2003)

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2009

I was diagnosed with stage IV Hodgkins in April 2008 and did 12 rounds of ABVD chemo. I finished in September 2008 and my doctor advised me that it is best to wait two years so that I could continue to get scanned. The highest rate of relapse is within the first two years. I found out in July that I am expecting a baby and due in March. My husband and I were shocked because we thought that it wouldn't happen without some medical help. I have received nothing but good words from my oncologist. I saw him on Thurs and he said that he feels really positive. Everyone is different. I do worry about it coming back and stress that I can't have scans til after the baby is born but I just take it really easy and relax so hopefully everything will go well! Good luck to you =)

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2013

I know this is super late but I  was wondering  how many months it was from the time you finished chemo to when you became pregnant.

i was diagnosed with Hodgkins II in August 2012, went through abvd October-February 2013. I am three weeks pregnant (4 months off chemo, actually found out the day went in for my first scans post chemo So was unable to do them. i am concerned it may be too early but also concerned that if it comes back I may not have the option of having children.

Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2016

Hi Katkels,

I know this is very old post and you may not accessing this website anymore. However I would like to hear update from you. My wife is six month post ABVD and now we are ttc. Hope you and your baby are OK.

Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2009

I'm 9 years in remission and I had my second child just after 1 year in remission. My third child came just over a year ago. They are both healthy and happy. God Bless!!!

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2009


my wife had cancer and we finished medical support about 2 years ago. And my wife is pregnant too. We had great support by the doctors and that made us more strong. We hope everythinh will be great for us. You wrote your post about 5 years ago and I would like to know how are you and your baby now? i am writing a blog about pregnancy with cancer with my wife in turkish language. Hope it would be great source for turkish people. Bebek ve Gebelik

Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2009

I am 47 years old and was treated for HD when I was 14 with mantle radiation and a little MOPP chemo. I was between stage 2 and stage 3. I had my first child at 19 and my second at 29. Both of my pregnancies were uneventful. Back when I was having children...doctor's didn't seem to have a clue as to what advice to give. They couldn't tell me if it was safe to breastfeed...so I didn't...I was afraid to because of all of the rads and chemo...

Anyway, today I have two children and three grandchildren...all healthy. I am living with some of the late survivor effects of the HD treatments, but hey...34 years has given me lots of time I wouldn't have had otherwise. I am so happy that the HD treatments are getting better and better all the time and that newly diagnosed patients have lots of hope for great outcomes.

I would have to concur with those that say to find the best doc you can, do all the research you can and armed with that information...continue living your life!!

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