A cross-sectional study of the psychosexual impact of cancer-related infertility in women: Third-party reproductive assistance Journal Article


Authors: Carter, J.; Raviv, L.; Applegarth, L.; Ford, J. S.; Josephs, L.; Grill, E.; Sklar, C.; Sonoda, Y.; Baser, R. E.; Barakat, R. R.
Article Title: A cross-sectional study of the psychosexual impact of cancer-related infertility in women: Third-party reproductive assistance
Abstract: Introduction: This study empirically assessed emotional and sexual functioning, reproductive concerns, and quality of life (QOL) of cancer-related infertile women in comparison to those without a cancer history and explored awareness of third-party reproduction options in cancer survivors. Methods: One hundred twenty-two cancer survivors (Gynecologic and Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant) with cancer-related infertility and 50 non-cancer infertile women completed a self-report survey assessing: reproductive concerns (RCS), mood (CES D), distress (IES), sexual function (FSFI), menopause (SCL), QOL (SF 12), relationships (ADAS), and exploratory (reproductive options) items. Results: Cancer survivors exhibited greater sexual dysfunction and lower physical QOL than non-cancer infertile women (P<0.001). No significant group differences were identified for mood (CES-D), mental health QOL (SF-12), reproductive concerns (RCS), and relationship satisfaction (ADAS). All groups scored in the FSFI range of sexual dysfunction, and with RCS scores above published means. Multivariate comparisons showed comparable depression and distress levels for all groups, but cancer survivors had poorer physical QOL [F(5,146)=4.22, P<0.01]. A significant effect was also found for knowledge of third-party reproductive options on depression and distress levels [F(3,97)=4.62,P<0.01]. Adjusted means demonstrated higher depression and distress scores for women with perceived unmet informational needs. Conclusions: Overall, loss of fertility was an emotionally challenging experience for women regardless of its cause. Cancer survivors were found to have lower scores of physical QOL and sexual function than non-cancer infertile women. Unmet informational needs about reproductive options appeared to be associated with negative mood and increased distress in cancer survivors. Implications for cancer survivors: Targeted interventions to increase knowledge about reproductive options could be of great assistance to women pursuing parenthood in cancer survivorship. Additionally, intervention studies to improve sexual functioning and QOL in women with cancer-related infertility should be a priority of future research. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Keywords: adolescent; adult; child; preschool child; child, preschool; middle aged; young adult; neoplasm; neoplasms; quality of life; risk factors; risk factor; infertility; survivor; survivors; psychological aspect; survivorship; cross-sectional study; cross-sectional studies; infertility, female; female infertility; third-party parenting; infertility therapy; psychosexual disorder; reproductive techniques, assisted; sexual dysfunctions, psychological
Journal Title: Journal of Cancer Survivorship
Volume: 4
Issue: 3
ISSN: 1932-2259
Publisher: Springer  
Date Published: 2010-01-01
Start Page: 236
End Page: 246
Language: English
DOI: 10.1007/s11764-010-0121-2
PUBMED: 20373042
PROVIDER: scopus
PMCID: PMC3701949
DOI/URL:
Notes: --- - "Cited By (since 1996): 3" - "Export Date: 20 April 2011" - "Source: Scopus"
Altmetric Score
MSK Authors
  1. Raymond E Baser
    65 Baser
  2. Richard R Barakat
    600 Barakat
  3. Charles A Sklar
    276 Sklar
  4. Yukio Sonoda
    286 Sonoda
  5. Jennifer S Ford
    57 Ford
  6. Jeanne Carter
    109 Carter
  7. Leigh S Raviv
    8 Raviv