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The time is now: An exploratory study regarding the predictors of female cancer patients' decision to undergo fertility preservation

Cláudia Melo, Mariana Moura-Ramos, Maria Cristina Canavarro, Teresa Almeida-Santos
European Journal of Cancer Care 2019 February 27, : e13025

INTRODUCTION: This cross-sectional exploratory study aimed to examine the female cancer patients' personal and health care-related variables mostly associated with their decision whether to preserve or not their fertility, in order to know more about the influence of attitudinal and health care-related variables on this decision where fertility preservation (FP) is fully covered by the National Health System.

METHODS: Childbearing attitudes, health care-related information, FP motivations and childbearing motivations were assessed, in a clinical setting, to female cancer patients in childbearing age, who were undergoing the FP decision-making process.

RESULTS: This study included 89 participants (82% response rate). Those who decided to undergo FP attributed more value to the reasons for FP and less value to the reasons against FP than those who decided not to undergo FP. Not having children, strongly valuing pregnancy after cancer and attributing low value to the implications of the postponement of cancer treatments were significant and independently associated with deciding to preserve fertility.

CONCLUSION: The decision to pursue FP is mainly influenced by three factors: the absence of children, attributing high value to trying to ensure future pregnancy and attributing low value to the possible postponement of cancer therapy in order to have time to preserve fertility.


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