Fertility Counseling and Preservation in Breast Cancer

  • Tal Sella
  • Ann H. PartridgeEmail author
Breast Cancer Genetics (B Arun, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Breast Cancer Genetics
  2. Topical Collection on Breast Cancer Genetics


Purpose of Review

Young women represent a minority of breast cancer patients for which fertility, family planning, and pregnancy represent unique vulnerabilities. This review intends to discuss recent published evidence regarding treatment-related infertility, fertility counseling, and preservation.

Recent Findings

Fertility concerns are common among young women with breast cancer and may negatively affect treatment decisions. Data is available to aid providers in approximating odds of post-treatment amenorrhea and infertility. Multiple fertility preservation techniques are available. While embryo preservation is most commonly used, recent guidelines endorse oocyte preservation and support for ovarian tissue cryopreservation is increasing. Most recently, the contribution of ovarian suppression during chemotherapy to ovarian function preservation has been established. Germline BRCA mutations may impact fertility potential and challenge fertility preservation and preimplantation genetic testing should be discussed with this subset.


Fertility counseling and preservation have become an integral part of the multidisciplinary care for breast cancer at diagnosis and throughout survivorship. Efforts to further individualize recommendations are necessary.


Fertility Gonadotoxicity Pregnancy Cryopreservation Prenatal genetic testing Breast cancer 



Dr. Sella is a Goldfarb Advanced Fellow in Breast Oncology at DFCI and is also supported by The American Physicians Fellowship for Medicine in Israel and the Pinchas Burstein Talpiot Medical Leadership Program, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Tal Sella reports personal fees from Roche outside the submitted work. Ann H. Partridge declares no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical OncologyDana-Farber Cancer InstituteBostonUSA

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