The increase in cancer incidence in younger people and the significant improvement in long and permanent remission have brought concern about their reproductive future and quality of life. Up to two-thirds of adult female patients undergoing chemotherapy for malignancies eventually develop premature ovarian failure. This condition is related to many complaints including vasomotor symptoms, osteoporosis, increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, sexual dysfunction, and infertility. Therefore, protection against iatrogenic infertility and loss of endocrine ovarian function caused by chemotherapy is currently of high priority. Several options have been used for preserving ovarian function. Established methods include cryopreservation of embryos and/or ova, and ovarian transposition, while others such as ovarian tissue preservation are new, yet promising treatments for fertility preservation. The administration of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonistic analogs (GnRH-a) is still considered experimental. However, the recent evidence is strong to recommend the use of GnRH-a co-treatment during chemotherapy in young women with cancer to protect ovarian function, with promising results regarding fertility preservation. As the use of GnRH-a is non-invasive, highly available and without impact on cancer treatment outcomes, it should be offered to all young female cancer patients to preserve their ovarian function.
- GnRH agonists
- ovarian preservation
- Premature ovarian insufficiency