Delayed childbearing and female ageing impair assisted reproductive technology outcome in survivors of male haematological cancers

Paolo Emanuele Levi-Setti, Luciano Negri, Annamaria Baggiani, Emanuela Morenghi, Elena Albani, Valentina Parini, Luca Cafaro, Carola Maria Conca Dioguardi, Amalia Cesana, Antonella Smeraldi, Armando Santoro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To analyse the impact of female characteristics on assisted reproductive technology outcome among male haematological cancer survivors. Methods: A retrospective analysis of 93 haematological cancer survivors attending our tertiary referral fertility centre between June 1998 and June 2017 for achieving fatherhood with assisted reproductive technology treatments. Results: A progressive increase in the median female age was observed during the study period (32.2 years until the year 2007 and 36.9 years from the year 2012). Fifty-five out of 93 patients were treated with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) (113 ovarian stimulations, 108 ICSI procedures). Cryopreserved ejaculated sperm was used in 28 couples, fresh sperm in 19, and thawed testicular sperm in 8 couples. Mean female age at ovarian stimulation was 37.0 ± 4.7 years. Twenty-six pregnancies resulted in a full-term birth (23% per started ovarian stimulation; 43.6% per couple) and 33 children were born. No significant differences were observed according to source of sperm (fresh, frozen, testicular) and multivariate analysis confirmed that maternal age was the only variable inversely related to the cumulative delivery rate, being five times lower (15.7%) when the female partner was ≥ 40 years (OR = 0.22, 95% CI 0.06–0.77) vs. 58.3% with younger women (p = 0.0037). Conclusions: Delayed childbearing and female ageing affect ICSI outcome in couples where the male is a survivor of haematological cancer. This topic should be discussed when counselling male cancer patients about fertility preservation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2049-2056
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2018


  • Assisted reproductive technology
  • Delayed childbearing
  • Haematological cancer
  • Male infertility
  • Sperm banks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Delayed childbearing and female ageing impair assisted reproductive technology outcome in survivors of male haematological cancers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this