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Obstet Gynecol Int. 2012;2012:564794. doi: 10.1155/2012/564794. Epub 2012 May 6.

Reproductive late effects in female survivors of childhood cancer.

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  • 1University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.


Childhood cancer treatments can cause female reproductive late effects. Radiation to the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis is associated with altered menarche, miscarriage, and implantation failure. Patients who receive chemotherapy and/or ovarian radiation are at risk of premature ovarian failure; the risk increases with increasing radiation dose, alkylating agent score, combination therapy, and older age at treatment. Ovarian reserve may be assessed using antimullerian hormone assay and ultrasound measurements of ovarian volume and antral follicle count; however, their efficacy is poorly established in this cohort. Fertility preservation options including cryopreservation, oophoropexy, and gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues may be initiated prior to treatment, although most are still considered experimental. Uterine radiation has been linked to pregnancy complications including miscarriage, premature delivery, stillbirth, low-birth-weight and small-for-gestational-age infants. This paper summarises the literature on female reproductive late effects. The information should facilitate counseling and management of female survivors throughout their reproductive lives.

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