Fertility and Cancer

Authored by: Michelle Peate , Lesley Stafford , Yasmin Jayasinghe

Routledge International Handbook of Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health

Print publication date:  October  2019
Online publication date:  September  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138490260
eBook ISBN: 9781351035620
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781351035620-15

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Abstract

Treatment for cancer can result in infertility, a side-effect with long-term implications for people who desire a child in the future. For those who want to become parents, treatment-related infertility can have a significant impact on their psychosocial health and wellbeing. This chapter describes the relationship between cancer treatment and fertility in women and the consequent distress that can arise from unwanted treatment-induced infertility. The chapter also covers assessment of fertility following cancer, fertility preservation options for women with cancer, the impact of pregnancy, and the choices available to achieve parenthood after cancer, including non-biological options. The chapter explores the barriers and ethical issues around fertility preservation in the context of cancer, the importance of awareness and how we can inform women of their choices to empower them to make fertility preservation decisions.

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