Fertility preservation in women with breast cancer

Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Dec;53(4):753-62. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e3181f96e00.


Fertility preservation is an important issue for young women diagnosed with breast cancer. The most well-established options for fertility preservation in cancer patients, embryo and oocyte cryopreservation, have not been traditionally offered to breast cancer patients as estradiol rise during standard stimulation protocols may not be safe for those patients. Potentially safer stimulation protocols using tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors induce lower levels of estradiol whereas similar results in terms of number of oocyte and embryo obtained to standard protocols. Cryopreservation of immature oocytes and ovarian cortical tissue, both still experimental methods, are also fertility preservation options for breast cancer patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aromatase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Breast Neoplasms / complications
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Counseling
  • Cryopreservation
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Female
  • Fertility*
  • Gonadotropins / therapeutic use
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / prevention & control*
  • Letrozole
  • Nitriles / therapeutic use
  • Oocytes
  • Ovulation Induction
  • Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators / therapeutic use
  • Tamoxifen / therapeutic use
  • Triazoles / therapeutic use


  • Aromatase Inhibitors
  • Gonadotropins
  • Nitriles
  • Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators
  • Triazoles
  • Tamoxifen
  • Letrozole