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Contraception and Menstrual Suppression for Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Patients

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Abstract

According to the 2013 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey [1], 47 % of high school students in the United States (USA) admitted to previous sexual intercourse, and of those, 14 % did not use any method of pregnancy prevention [1]. An unintended pregnancy during cancer treatments may result in delay in therapy, teratogenic exposure, and/or pregnancy termination [2]. For many of these patients, unintended pregnancy is associated with an unacceptable health risk. Therefore, an open and early discussion about contraceptive needs and options is essential to the overall care of the adolescent and young adult oncology patient. Choosing a contraceptive method is an important decision with many involved factors for both patients and physicians. We must consider the efficacy and safety profile of each method, as well as how the method fits into each patient’s lifestyle, including technical, social, and religious factors, among others. In the adolescent oncology patient, these issues can compound quickly. Medically, these patients’ present increased challenges due to their underlying diagnoses and the increased risk of thrombotic disease associated with all malignancy. A thorough discussion of indicated contraceptive methods should be undertaken with each patient, with focus placed on efficacy and safety. An added benefit (or alternative use) of contraceptive medications during cancer treatment has been to elicit menstrual lightening and suppression, especially in patients with low blood count, menorrhagia, and/or risk of bone marrow suppression. Additionally, every social situation is unique and we must remember to ensure confidentiality in our adolescent patients seeking sexual health counseling and contraception.

Keywords

  • Bone Mineral Density
  • Contraceptive Method
  • Unintended Pregnancy
  • Ethinyl Estradiol
  • Emergency Contraception

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Correspondence to Holly Hoefgen MD .

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Appendix: Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use

Appendix: Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use

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Benoit, J., Hoefgen, H. (2017). Contraception and Menstrual Suppression for Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Patients. In: Woodruff, T., Gosiengfiao, Y. (eds) Pediatric and Adolescent Oncofertility. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-32973-4_4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-32973-4_4

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