Fertility-related information received by young women and men with cancer–a population-based survey

Alexandra Wide, Lena Wettergren, Johan Ahlgren, Karin E. Smedby, Kristina Hellman, Roger Henriksson, Kenny Rodriguez-Wallberg, Olof Ståhl, Claudia Lampic

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2 Citations (SciVal)


Background: Infertility is a well-known sequela of cancer treatment. Despite guidelines recommending early discussions about risk of fertility impairment and fertility preservation options, not all patients of reproductive age receive such information. Aims: This study aimed to investigate young adult cancer patients’ receipt of fertility-related information and use of fertility preservation, and to identify sociodemographic and clinical factors associated with receipt of information. Materials and Methods: A population-based cross-sectional survey study was conducted with 1010 young adults with cancer in Sweden (response rate 67%). The inclusion criteria were: a previous diagnosis of breast cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, brain tumor, lymphoma or testicular cancer between 2016 and 2017, at an age between 18 and 39 years. Data were analyzed using logistic regression models. Results: A majority of men (81%) and women (78%) reported having received information about the potential impact of cancer/treatment on their fertility. A higher percentage of men than women reported being informed about fertility preservation (84% men vs. 40% women, p <.001) and using gamete or gonadal cryopreservation (71% men vs. 15% women, p <.001). Patients with brain tumors and patients without a pretreatment desire for children were less likely to report being informed about potential impact on their fertility and about fertility preservation. In addition, being born outside Sweden was negatively associated with reported receipt of information about impact of cancer treatment on fertility. Among women, older age (>35 years), non-heterosexuality and being a parent were additional factors negatively associated with reported receipt of information about fertility preservation. Conclusion: There is room for improvement in the equal provision of information about fertility issues to young adult cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)976-983
JournalActa Oncologica
Issue number8
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
  • Cancer and Oncology


  • Cancer
  • fertility
  • fertility preservation
  • oncofertility
  • reproductive oncology


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