Looking through the lens of a family planner to prioritize reproductive health among women with cancer

Jessica M. Madrigal, Mokshasree Atluri, Erika K. Radeke, Ashlesha Patel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE Prioritization of cancer treatment initiation in women of reproductive age may underscore potential implications on reproductive health. This study describes a family planning quotient (FPQ) and reproductive life index (RepLI) tool designed to help providers to discuss effectively reproductive health with women with cancer. METHODS We tailored the FPQ/RepLI tool for patients with cancer after development in the family planning setting and piloted it with 36 oncology patients referred to our family planning clinic. Each patient completed the FPQ/RepLI with a health educator or medical student and then met with a physician to create a reproductive life plan. A subsample evaluated the tool by rating satisfaction using a Likert scale. Summary statistics were calculated overall and by childbearing status. RESULTS Of the 36 women, 22 did not desire additional children and received contraception. One third (n = 14) had not completed childbearing, four of whom continued with fertility preservation counseling. Women who desired childbearing were less likely to already have children (P = .02), and more than one half were using long-term contraception. All agreed that the FPQ/RepLI helped them to talk to their provider about their reproductive goals. Only 44.4% agreed that their oncologist knew how many children they desired, and 88.9% found the tool helpful and would use it for future tracking of their reproductive goals. CONCLUSION The FPQ/RepLI is useful for assessing the reproductive health of young women with a new cancer diagnosis, understanding desires of future childbearing, and providing effective contraception. We recommend the incorporation of this tool into practice to better understand patients’ reproductive needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E141-E152
JournalJournal of oncology practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Health Policy

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