Gender Gap In Cancer Fertility Advice

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ABERDEEN, Scotland, (UPI) — Following a cancer diagnosis, there are significant gaps in the information women receive about their future fertility, U.S. researchers say.

Study co-author Valerie Peddie, fertility nurse specialist/research midwife at the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Aberdeen, and colleagues at the National Health Service Grampian said the study involved 16 men and 18 women ages 17-49 and 15 health professionals.

The patients received treatment for blood related and other cancers from August 2008 to June 2010.

The study found almost all patients were given written information about cancer treatment, which included a small section on fertility preservation.

However, men and women were given different information reflecting the varying fertility preservation options available, perceived success rates and subsequent delay in accessing cancer treatment.

Men were actively encouraged to consider storage of sperm, even if they already had children and men were told of sperm banking and a local protocol was in place for immediate referral.

In contrast, few women had fertility preservation discussed and there was no protocol in place.

The findings were published in the BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

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