Impaired reproductive function and infertility are major concerns among survivors of malignancy. Haematologic, breast and gynaecological cancers constitute the most frequent indications for fertility preservation since chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery or a combination of these treatments, can induce premature ovarian insufficiency and damage the uterus. There are also implications for safety of pregnancy after cancer treatment, for both mother and baby.
The ongoing increase in survival rates and delayed conception is therefore accompanied by a growing demand for effective, safe and specifically tailored fertility preservation options. When approaching patients facing cancer treatment, an individual evaluation of potential infertility risks and possible preventive or preserving measures should be performed.
This presentation provides an update on female fertility and pregnancy risks associated with treatment of breast, haematological and gynaecological malignancy. Recent progress in fertility preservation methods including ovarian tissue cryopreservation and transplantation, egg and embryo freezing, GnRH analogues and their specific role in hematological disorders are presented. The efficacy of these methods, possible risks and future challenges are critically discussed.