Fertility-sparing surgery and fertility preservation in cervical cancer: The desire for parenthood, reproductive and obstetric outcomes

R. C.J. van der Plas*, A. M.E. Bos, I. M. Jürgenliemk-Schulz, C. G. Gerestein, R. P. Zweemer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objective: To evaluate the desire for parenthood and reproductive outcomes of young cervical cancer survivors who underwent fertility-sparing surgery or fertility preservation procedures for invasive cervical cancer. Methods: All women <45 years who underwent fertility-sparing treatment for invasive cervical cancer in a tertiary referral center in the Netherlands between January 2009 and January 2020 were identified. Fertility-sparing treatment options included Vaginal Radical Trachelectomy (VRT) for patients with early-stage disease and fertility preservation techniques (FP) when requiring Radical Hysterectomy (RH) or chemoradiotherapy. Data on reproductive intentions – and outcomes were retrieved from medical files and questionnaires. Results: 75 patients were identified of whom 34 underwent VRT, 9 RH and 32 had (chemo)radiotherapy. 26 patients started FP of whom 23 (88.5%) successfully preserved fertility through cryopreservation of embryos, oocytes and ovarian tissue. After a median follow-up of 49 months, 5 patients developed recurrent disease and died. Reproductive outcomes were retrieved in 58 patients. 89.6% maintained their desire for parenthood after cancer treatment. Following VRT, we report a pregnancy rate of 61.9% among the patients attempting conception (n = 24). 15 patients conceived 21 pregnancies which resulted in 15 live-births, yielding a live-birth rate of 75.0%. Following RH or (chemo)radiotherapy, 3 surrogate pregnancies were established (21.4%) using frozen-thawed material with good neonatal outcomes. Conclusion: Many cervical cancer survivors maintain the desire to become parents eventually. In early-stage disease, VRT shows good reproductive outcomes without compromising oncological safety. For those requiring gonadotoxic treatment fertility preservation and gestational surrogacy provides a promising alternative for achieving a biological offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-544
Number of pages7
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Cervical cancer
  • Fertility preservation
  • Fertility-sparing surgery
  • Gestational surrogacy


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