Friday October 19, 2018

Researchers have found a way to preserve fertility in female cancer survivors

Study shows that about 43-62 percent had unmet information needs about fertility and two-thirds of women were worried about their capability to give birth.

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A recent study has shown that many young female cancer survivors are not fully aware of information about how they are at high risk of early menopause and how to preserve their fertility after completing treatment.

About 43-62 percent women had unmet information needs and two-thirds of them were worried about their capability to give birth to a child in future. Researchers have stated that females thinking to have children are not yet ready to start a family and may have to undergo fertility preservation with egg or embryo freezing after treatment. Due to cancer, they are also at high risk of early menopause.

“Failure to provide information and address concerns with respect to fertility-related decisions may have lasting consequences for young women who hope to achieve important life goals such as having children,” said lead author Catherine Benedict from Northwell Health, New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer.

The paper published by Benedict in journal cancer also stated “For women are at risk of early menopause, delaying fertility-related decisions may cause them to miss their narrowed window of opportunity to preserve their fertility, if desired.”

The team wanted to understand about how young female cancer survivors view the decision of undergoing fertility preservation after treatment and to learn about their informational needs.

Woman with her new born. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Woman with her newborn. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Members of team examined around 346 participants whose age was about 30 years and they also researched on a subgroup of 179 women about women with certain fertility status who had not undergone the fertility preservation before.

The results showed that greater reproductive concerns and unmet information made it more difficult to think about the fertility preservation.

The findings in the study also established the need for creating support centres to help young female cancer survivors make decisions about fertility preservation and family-building as part of survivorship care.

This study also helped in understanding the importance and need of women making fertility decisions before treatment.

-by Bhaskar Raghavendran

Bhaskar is a graduate in Journalism and mass communication from Amity school of communication, Noida. Contact the author at Twitter: bhaskar_ragha

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Family Size Can Be Determined By Reproductive Rights: Study

To make freedom of choice a reality, the report urges countries to offer universal access to quality reproductive health care

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A community health worker holds up contraceptives during a lecture on family planning at a reproductive health clinic run by an NGO in Tondo city, metro Manila. VOA

Family size is closely linked to reproductive rights, according to the State of World Population 2018 report.

The U.N. report says people in developed countries tend to have lower fertility rates because of greater access to family planning services, modern contraceptives and age-appropriate sex education.

The director of the U.N. Population Fund office in Geneva, Monica Ferro, says in places where reproductive rights are constrained, either due to lack of resources or government mandates, people have a limited ability to choose the size of their families.

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Google suspends Ireland’s Abortion Referendum Ads, VOA

“Many sub-Saharan African countries, for example, have fertility rates of four or more births per woman,” Ferro said. “At the other end of the spectrum, you have some eastern Asian and European countries with fewer than two births per women. In both cases, individuals face obstacles to the full realization of their reproductive rights.”

The world population is expected to increase by 2.5 billion by 2050, to nearly 10 billion people, with sub-Saharan Africa expected to contribute more than half of that growth.

Women in Africa must overcome many legal and social barriers to achieve control of their fertility, Ferro said.

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Women in Africa must overcome many legal and social barriers to achieve control of their fertility.

“Women may not have the access to medical services,” she told VOA. “They may not have the access to child care. They may not have access to all the institutional and social support that comes with being ready or being able to plan your fertility.”

Also Read: Brisbane, Australia Protests Against Plans To Decriminalise Abortion

To make freedom of choice a reality, the report urges countries to offer universal access to quality reproductive health care, including modern contraceptives and better education.

It also advocates for a change in men’s attitudes toward a woman’s right to choose the number, timing and spacing of children. (VOA)