Gwendolyn P. Quinn, PhD, is an associate member of the Moffitt Cancer Center and an associate professor at the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa, FL. She is also director of the Moffitt Fertility Preservation Research Group, a consortia of medical and behavioral researchers who explore the psychosocial aspects of reproductive health in cancer patients of childbearing age.
Frozen Hope: Fertility Preservation for Women With Cancer
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
2010 American College of Nurse Midwives
Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health
Volume 55, Issue 2, pages 175–180, March-April 2010
How to Cite
Quinn, G. P., Vadaparampil, S. T., Jacobsen, P. B., Knapp, C., Keefe, D. L., Bell, G. E. and Moffitt Fertility Preservation Group (2010), Frozen Hope: Fertility Preservation for Women With Cancer. Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health, 55: 175–180. doi: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2009.07.009
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
- cancer survivorship;
- fertility preservation;
- patient-physician communication;
- preimplantation genetic diagnosis
Young women diagnosed with cancer have the option of preserving their fertility by using assisted reproductive technology (ART) techniques prior to undergoing cancer treatment. This article presents a composite case of a young woman with cancer who had many unanswered emotional and ethical questions about her future as a parent. Fertility preservation techniques, including preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), and related patient education are described. Current literature regarding reproductive counseling for cancer survivors is reviewed. Resources for providing psychosocial support for decisions about fertility preservation are lagging behind the rapid pace of scientific advancements in cancer treatment and ART. As more young women are surviving cancer and taking steps to preserve fertility, there is great need for the provision of psychologic support services and the establishment of ethical guidelines to aid them on this path. Women's health care providers can provide support to cancer survivors facing fertility and parenting issues by becoming knowledgeable about the long-term aspects of decision making and developing educational materials and guidelines for these patients.