Fertility Preservation after a Cancer Diagnosis: A Systematic Review of Adolescents', Parents', and Providers’ Perspectives, Experiences, and Preferences

Julia F. Taylor, Mary Ott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Study Objective Survival into adulthood is now a reality for many adolescents facing cancer. Fertility preservation (FP) is rapidly advancing, but oncology providers and health systems struggle to incorporate the newest FP technologies into the clinical care of adolescents. Our objective was to systematically review and synthesize the available data regarding the perspectives, experiences, and preferences of adolescents, parents, and oncology providers about FP to inform clinical implementation of FP technologies. Design, Setting, Participants, Interventions, and Main Outcome Measures Five electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, Web of Knowledge, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, PsychInfo) were systematically searched for studies published between January 1999 and May 2014. Adolescents were defined as 12-18 years at the time of diagnosis or designated as pubertal/postpubertal and younger than 18 years of age. Studies were assessed for methodological quality, data were extracted using a standardized form, and results were synthesized using guidelines for a narrative syntheses of quantitative and qualitative data. Results In total, 1237 records were identified, with 22 articles, representing 17 unique studies that met the inclusion criteria. The following topics were consistently observed across studies and populations: (1) fertility in trust; (2) decision-making challenges; (3) provider knowledge and practices; and (4) discrepancies between desired and actual experiences. Conclusion Despite the challenges associated with a new cancer diagnosis, adolescents and parents value the opportunity to discuss fertility concerns and preservation options. Providers play an important role in addressing these topics for families and efforts should be made to incorporate FP discussions into routine cancer care for all adolescents, with attention paid to the unique needs of adolescents and their parents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-598
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Adolescents
  • Fertility preservation
  • Oncology
  • Parents
  • Patient preferences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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