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Fertility preservation in women with endometrial carcinoma

Joshua P Kesterson, MD
Section Editors
Barbara Goff, MD
Don S Dizon, MD, FACP
Deputy Editors
Sandy J Falk, MD, FACOG
Sadhna R Vora, MD


Uterine cancer is the most common gynecologic malignancy in developed countries and is the second most common in developing countries (cervical cancer is more common). The incidence of endometrial carcinoma (EC) is increasing in developed countries due to increased obesity and longer life expectancy. (See "Endometrial carcinoma: Epidemiology and risk factors", section on 'Epidemiology'.)

The standard initial treatment of EC is hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, and assessment of retroperitoneal lymph nodes. This is an acceptable option for the majority of women with EC, most of whom are postmenopausal. However, younger women may desire fertility-sparing treatment options. For women who are candidates for fertility preservation, the most common approach is progestin therapy and deferral of surgical staging until after completion of childbearing. Use of this approach is limited to women with low-risk disease, and with fertility preservation the risk of recurrent or persistent disease is higher than with hysterectomy.

Fertility preservation in women with EC is reviewed here. Related topics are discussed in detail separately, including:

Overview (see "Overview of endometrial carcinoma")

Histopathology and pathogenesis (see "Endometrial carcinoma: Histopathology and pathogenesis")

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Literature review current through: Oct 2017. | This topic last updated: Aug 23, 2017.
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