Infertility and pregnancy after breast cancer: Current knowledge and future perspectives

Lucia Del Mastro, Tiziana Catzeddu, Marco Venturini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fertility impairment induced by adjuvant treatments and potential risk associated with pregnancy, are major concerns of young pre-menopausal patients with early breast cancer. Although current evidences suggest that pregnancy does not negatively affect prognosis, a low rate (3-8%) of pregnancy after breast cancer has been reported. Among the potential causes of such a low rate there are a high chance of spontaneous abortions (25%) as well as the fertility impairment induced by adjuvant treatments. No standard strategy to preserve fertility in breast cancer patients is available so far. Experimental approaches include cryopreservation strategies, and use of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists to render germinal epithelium quiescent and less sensitive to the chemotherapy cytotoxicity. Here, we reviewed current knowledge about incidence and risks of pregnancy after breast cancer, risks of ovarian failure after adjuvant treatments and experimental strategies aiming to preserve ovarian function and fertility in young breast cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-422
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Treatment Reviews
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006


  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Amenorrhea
  • Breast cancer
  • Iatrogenic menopause
  • Infertility
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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