NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Hodgkin Lymphoma, Version 1.2015
Fertility and pregnancy
Some cancer treatments can limit your ability to have
a baby. If you want the choice of having babies after
treatment or are unsure, tell your doctors. It may also
help to talk with a fertility specialist before you begin
cancer treatment. A fertility specialist is an expert in
helping people have babies.
A fertility specialist can discuss with you how to
have a baby after treatment. Some methods of
fertility preservation are discussed next. If you are a
woman of childbearing age, important information on
pregnancy is also addressed.
Men who want to father children after cancer
treatment can use sperm banking. Sperm banking
stores semen for later use. This is done by freezing
semen with sperm in liquid nitrogen. Talk to your
treatment team about the costs of and how well
sperm banking works.
Egg freezing and more
Like sperm banking, a woman’s eggs can be
removed, frozen, and stored for later use. Your
frozen eggs can be fertilized with sperm beforehand.
Also, a part of your ovary that contains eggs can be
frozen and stored. Another fertility method for women
who will be treated with radiation is a surgery called
oophoropexy. This surgery will move your ovary out of
range of the radiation beam to protect it.
Some cancer treatments can harm an unborn baby.
Get a pregnancy test before treatment if you may be
pregnant now. Your treatment options will depend
on the results. During treatment, take steps to avoid
getting pregnant. Your doctors can tell you which birth
control methods are best to use while on treatment.
Smoking and distress
If you smoke, it is important to quit. Nicotine addiction
is one of the hardest addictions to stop. The stress
of having cancer may make it harder to quit. Quitting
is important since smoking can limit how well cancer
treatment works. If you smoke, ask your doctor about
counseling and drugs to help you quit.
Distress is an unpleasant emotional state that
may affect how you feel, think, and act. It can
include feelings of unease, sadness, worry, anger,
helplessness, guilt, and so forth. Everyone with
cancer has some distress at some point in time. It is
normal to feel sad, fearful, and helpless.
Feeling distressed may be a minor problem or it may
be more serious. You may be so distressed that you
can’t do the things you used to do. Serious or not, it
is important that your treatment team knows how you
feel. Your team can get you the help you need.
Fertility and pregnancy | Smoking and distress