TitleFactors associated with pregnancy attempts among female young adult cancer survivors.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsDominick, SA, Whitcomb, BW, Gorman, JR, Mersereau, JE, Chung, K, H Su, I
JournalJ Cancer Surviv
Date Published12/2014
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Female, Humans, Neoplasms, Pregnancy, Risk Factors, Survival Rate, Survivors, Young Adult

PURPOSE: Little is known about pregnancy attempts among female young cancer survivors (YCS). We sought to determine fertility preservation (FP), demographic, cancer, and reproductive characteristics associated with pregnancy attempts after cancer.

METHODS: We recruited 251 female YCS (ages 18-44) to complete a survey on reproductive health outcomes. We used log-binomial regression models to estimate relative risks (RR) for characteristics associated with pregnancy attempts.

RESULTS: For the entire cohort, median time since cancer diagnosis was 2.4 years (interquartile range 4.0). Fifty-two YCS (21%) attempted pregnancy after cancer diagnosis. In unadjusted analyses, lack of FP therapy prior to cancer treatment, older age, partnered relationship, higher income, no history of stem cell or bone marrow transplant, and longer duration of survivorship were significantly associated with pregnancy attempts. In multivariable analyses, YCS who did not undergo FP therapy were more than twice as likely to attempt pregnancy as those who did undergo FP therapy (RR 2.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3, 4.3). Partnered status (RR 7.1, 95% CI 2.5, 20.2) and >2 years since cancer diagnosis (RR 2.3, 95% CI 1.3, 4.1) were also significantly associated with attempts.

CONCLUSIONS: In YCS, milestones including partnered relationships and longer duration of cancer survivorship are important to attempting pregnancy. A novel, inverse association between FP therapy and pregnancy attempts warrants further study.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: Pregnancy attempts after cancer were more likely after attaining both social- and cancer-related milestones. As these milestones require time, YCS should be made aware of their potential for concomitant, premature loss of fertility in order to preserve their range of fertility options.

Alternate JournalJ Cancer Surviv
PubMed ID24859010
PubMed Central IDPMC4221647
Grant ListK23 HD058799 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
P30 CA023100 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
UL1 RR024926 / RR / NCRR NIH HHS / United States
HD-058799-01 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States