Unintended Pregnancy: A systematic review of contraception use and counseling in women with cancer

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Women with past or current cancer diagnoses can benefit from planning pregnancies to optimize maternal health and birth outcomes.


The purpose of this systematic review is to identify unmet needs for family planning services among women with cancer by describing the prevalence of contraception counseling, contraception use, unintended pregnancy, and abortion.


Using the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines, 16 studies were included.


Women with cancer experience unintended pregnancy and abortion throughout their care. Not all women reported receiving contraception counseling, and many reported inconsistencies between contraception counseling desired and received. A prominent theme was uncertainty about fertility status. Use of highly effective contraceptive methods was low to moderate in eight patient populations.

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