Contraception in cancer survivors: insights from oncofertility follow-up visits

Claudia Massarotti, Lorenzo Lo Monaco, Paola Scaruffi, Fausta Sozzi, Valentino Remorgida, Angelo Cagnacci, Paola Anserini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Current literature suggests that cancer survivors are less likely to receive adequate contraception counseling. However, limited data existed on barriers to contraception usage in this population and on the efficacy of dedicated consultations. This study aims to describe how contraception is perceived by cancer survivors after counseling and acceptance rates of highly effective contraceptives. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed clinical records from 313 consecutive cancer survivors at their first follow-up visit at the Oncofertility Unit of a tertiary hospital, from 2014 to 2019. Contraception acceptance and choice were examined stratified for the type of malignancy (hormone-sensible or not). A multivariate logistic regression model was used to evaluate possible predictors of acceptance. Results: Thity-three women were excluded from the analysis because trying to conceive or already pregnant. Out of the remaining 280, only 9 (3.2%) asked spontaneously for contraception, in all the other visits the issue was brought up by the physician. After counseling 44.3% of the women without contraindications still opted out effective methods for fear of hormones or refusal of more medications. Age < 33 years and being in a relationship were correlated with acceptance. Conclusions: Even after a complete counseling in a dedicated service, fears of hormones and refusal of more medications remain strong issues for these patients. Family planning needs to be discussed with cancer survivors, preferably in the context of a long-term healthcare relationship. The Oncofertility Unit should become a privileged place for this type of counseling.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGynecological Endocrinology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • cancer survivors
  • contraception
  • Contraception after cancer
  • oncofertility unit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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