Fertility, Pregnancy, and Breast Feeding

  • Are there any fertility issues associated with CML therapy?

    It has not been determined that CML therapy physically diminishes the ability to conceive, however, it is not wise to do so while in treatment.  Conceiving while on Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs) can bring an increased risk to the pregnancy and ultimately the unborn child.

    The following guidelines are common across all of the TKIs currently approved for therapy.  The following lists those who should NOT be taking any of the Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors used in the treatment of CML.

    Women who are or could be pregnant should NOT be on therapy. Fetal harm can occur when administered to pregnant women; therefore, women should not become pregnant, as well as be advised of the potential risk to the unborn child if TKIs are used during pregnancy

    Women who are breast-feeding because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants

    Sexually active females should use adequate birth control while taking therapy for CML.

    Men in treatment for CML should also use adequate birth control and consult with their doctor prior to contemplating a family.  It is generally thought that males should be clear of treatment for a minimum of eight (8) weeks prior to engaging in sexual activity with the intent to conceive.

    If you are pregnant, or think you may be, talk to your doctor and/or healthcare professional about these issues before beginning a CML treatment regimen.  

    Keep in mind that up to 50% of pregnancies are NOT planned.  If you are taking therapy for CML and are sexually active, adequate birth control measures should be in force.

  • How soon after delivery can I resume my CML therapy?

    As always, consult with your physician prior to beginning CML therapy.  Generally, patients can resume therapy very soon following delivery - some the next day.  You should not plan to breast feed while on therapy for CML.

  • Can I breast feed while taking therapy for CML?

    Breast feeding should be avoided while on therapy due to the potential for adverse reactions in nursing infants.  Consult with your physician should you have questions.