All girls have an opinion on their own motherhood


Healthy adolescent girls have predetermined expectations for becoming mothers in the future, but do have concerns about fertility if they get a life-threatening illness like cancer. According to researchers from the Moffitt Cancer Center, this study will help validate an approach that seeks to understand all teenage girls’ hopes and feelings about reproduction, especially when that fertility is threatened by disease. Studies have been conducted to determine the feelings of girls who had received a diagnosis of cancer, but no studies as a comparison in girls who had not had a diagnosis of a life-threatening disorder. It appears that having a diagnosis of fertility-threatening disease does not change a girl’s desire to become a mother.

The same hopes and dreams

“This study sought to examine if girls who did not have cancer wanted to have children in the future and determine if they would feel negatively about losing the ability to have a biological child due to a life-threatening illness, such as cancer,” explained study lead author Gwendolyn P. Quinn, PhD, member of the Health Outcomes and Behavior Program t Moffitt. “We found that teen girls with cancer had the same hopes and dreams for the future as their healthy peers.”

Fertility preservation must be discussed

The researchers suggest that knowing this should encourage health professionals to discuss reproductive options more with their patients who are young women. These issues tend to be left out of treatment discussions and if the girls already have a predetermined notion of becoming parents, then talks should talk place to discuss preserving their fertility.

There are options if strategies are planned in advance

“Understanding the importance of reproductive concerns of adolescents confirms the need for interventions and developmentally appropriate tools to prevent negative quality-of-life effects during survivorship among those diagnosed with cancer,” noted the report. “The validation of this tool with a healthy population increases its potential value for use with girls diagnosed with cancer.”

Source: Moffitt Cancer Center, MedicalNewsToday


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