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Impact of Chemotherapy on Fertility

by Susan Sarajari

In a recent study, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, examined in addition to acute ovarian failure, age-specific long-term effects of chemotherapy on women’s fertility, such as infertility and early menopause. The study included 620 women diagnosed with 5 specific cancers between the ages of 18-40 years old who were treated with chemotherapy.

The study found that chemotherapy narrows the window of fertility significantly even if a patient’s menstrual cycle returns. It was also noted that acute ovarian failure and incidence of infertility increased significantly with age at diagnosis of cancer. In addition, the probability of early menopause increased significantly with younger age at cancer diagnosis.

Focusing only on the resumption of the menstrual period after chemotherapy, will most likely not accurately predict a woman’s fertility potential after chemotherapy and more research studies are needed to better assess chemotherapy impact.

“Study shows greater impact of chemotherapy on fertility”. 25 August 2011.

Related Topics: cancer and fertillity, chemotherapy, oncofertility, Washington Fertility Center, women's cancer fertility