The Alliance Blog

Is there a fertility window after cancer treatment?

Is there a fertility window after cancer treatment? - blog post image

Young cancer survivors want to be able to have their own families after cancer treatment. For girls and young women, cancer treatments can cause infertility and early ovarian failure. But for many young survivors, there is be a window of time in which they are still fertile, which we’ll call the “reproductive window”.

There isn’t enough information on the reproductive window in young survivors, particularly those who were diagnosed as adolescents and young adults.  

The Reproductive Window study seeks to recruit and follow 1000 young adult, female cancer to identify the reproductive window.  Funded by the National Institutes of Health, this study will ask young survivors who have finished cancer treatment to be in a study for 18 months. All study activities can be done at home. During that time, participants will complete questionnaires and collect blood spot and saliva samples every 6 months. The blood spot and saliva are then used to measure hormones that tell us about how the ovaries are working. The study researchers want to help figure out who has a reproductive window and when is that window.  This information can help young survivors plan their families and improve their reproductive health.

We have so little information on whether young cancer survivors are fertile. Because of its large size and innovative approach to collecting participant samples, the Reproductive Window Study has great potential to improve our understanding of fertility and reproductive health after cancer. We need help from young survivors and their providers to get this information!

If you are a young woman who is 18 to 40 years old, have had a history of cancer, and are interested in learning more about the study, please visit or contact Dr. Irene Su and her research staff at the University of California San Diego (, 858-822-0768). Thank you!

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