Surving Childhood Cancer Increases the Odds of Pregnancy

It is a known fact that the children who face cancer have high chances of being affected by infertility during their adulthood. However, according to studies, more and more women who were affected by cancer as a child conceive a child after trying for over one year without any success.

Surving Childhood Cancer Increases the Odds of Pregnancy

Belief vs. facts

The majority of women think that they will never have children on their own. The truth is that they are able to conceive just that it is more difficult for them. In the past period there has been a large scale study conducted regarding the abilities of women to conceive after having had cancer.

The results

According to the results of the study about 16% of the women who had cancer as a child had problems with infertility and 13% of these women have been trying to get pregnant for a year without any results. There was also an infertile group that had ovarian failure and that didn’t even try getting pregnant.

Control group

The control group consisted of the sisters of the cancer survivor group. In their case 11% of the women struggled with infertility. All this means that the women who survived cancer have about 50% more chances of being affected by infertility.

Details of the study

The study has been conducted with the help of 3,531 cancer survivors between the ages of 18 and 39 and their sisters, 1,366 in number. According to the researchers, this is the first study which examined the fertility problems and possible solutions.

Useful information

The scientists have found that about 60% of the women who had fertility problems conceived after 6 months. On the other hand it took the clinically infertile women five months to get pregnant.


It seems like those women are at the greatest risk of facing infertility that were treated by high dose radiation therapy or alkylating agent chemotherapy on the pelvis or abdomen in their childhood. Although some of the treatment methods have been changed in the past few years, in some cases radiation and alkylating therapy are still used.

Fertility preservation

The children who are treated by treatment methods of this kind ought to be thinking about fertility preservation as well. The risk of permanent infertility becomes the largest in the moment when women experience the signs of infertility for the first time. The purpose of this study is to offer insight into the problems women have to face.


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