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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2019 Nov;25(11):e331-e343. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2019.07.038. Epub 2019 Aug 5.

A Practical Guide to Gynecologic and Reproductive Health in Women Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant.

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George Washington University School of Nursing, Washington, District of Columbia. Electronic address:
Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Illinois; NIH Clinical Center, Bethesda, Maryland.
NIH Clinical Center, Bethesda, Maryland; Riverside Regional Medical Center, Newport News, Virginia.
Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Nashville, Tennessee.
Office of the Clinical Director, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.


Optimum care of female transplant recipients requires gynecologic care at several stages through the allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) process. Sex-based considerations in women post-HCT span gynecologic sequelae of transplant along with assessment and maintenance of optimal sexual and gynecologic health. Pre-HCT, managing menstruation and abnormal uterine or genital bleeding, considering fertility preservation, and assessing for sexually transmitted infections, including human papillomavirus (HPV)-related disease and cervical cancer, enhance women's health. While inpatient during transplant when women are thrombocytopenic, menstrual bleeding requires suppression. Whenever graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is assessed, screening for genital GVHD merits consideration. After the first 100 days, periodic assessments include obtaining a menstrual history, assessing ovarian function, and reviewing current hormonal use and contraindications to hormonal methods. Regular assessment for primary ovarian insufficiency, dyspareunia, and intimacy guides provision of contraception and hormone replacement options. As part of ongoing screening for genital GVHD and HPV-related disease, including sexually transmitted infections, periodic pelvic examinations are performed. Once successful long-term survival is achieved, planning for fertility may be considered. This article offers a comprehensive approach to these aspects of gynecologic care of patients throughout the trajectory of HCT and beyond into survivorship. We review the effects of HCT treatment on sexual health, ovarian function, and resulting menstrual changes and fertility challenges. Identification, treatment, and prevention of subsequent malignancies, including breast cancer, are discussed, with a focus on regular assessment of genital HPV disease and GVHD in long-term follow-up.


Allogeneic stem cell transplant; Gynecologic care; Human papillomavirus; Women's health


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