Fertility




This chapter provides an extensive discussion of:

  • The physical impacts of gynaecological cancer treatments on the reproductive organs
  • The reproductive options for women with gynaecological cancer
  • The consequences of reproductive techniques in women who have gynaecological cancer
  • Legal and ethical issues associated with the reproductive options of women with gynaecological cancer

Gynaecological cancers represent 12-15% of all cancers affecting women (Jefs et al. 1994). The majority are diagnosed in older women, but 21% are in women of reproductive age (Jelfs et al. 1994). Many women of reproductive age who have survived gynaecological cancer wish to have children. However, even with the advances in reproductive technologies, the options for these women remain limited, with many treatments still being in the research stages. The focal point of this chapter concerns the various fertility issues that can confront women who have gynaecological cancer.


Contents include

  • Follicular loss from conception to menopause
  • Effects of chemotherapy on ovaries
  • Effects of radiotherapy on ovaries and uterus
  • Effects of surgery on ovaries
  • Referral to a fertility clinic
  • Reproductive options
    • In-vitro fertilisation and frozen embryo storage
    • Mature oocyte cryopreservation
    • Immature oocyte cryopreservation
    • Ovarian tissue cryopreservation
    • Ovarian transposition
    • Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone
  • Consequences of reproductive techniques
    • Effects of cancer treatment on offspring
    • Effects of IVF stimulation on women
  • Legal and ethical issues
    • Egg donation
    • Embryo donation
    • Surrogacy
    • Eggs and embryos of a woman who dies?
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Author / Editor Biographies

Elizabeth Pearce is a registered nurse and certified midwife. She holds a bachelor's degree in health science nursing, a graduate certificate in counselling, and a graduate certificate in research (health). Elizabeth has worked as a fertility nurse for 16 years. For the past nine years she has been the Clinical Nurse Consultant at the Westmead Fertility Centre, Westmead Hospital (Sydney, Australia). She is a nurse representative on the Australian Reproductive Technology Accreditation Committee and has recently been a member of a private auditing team conducting a review of fertility services i...

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