Sexual life and contraceptive use among Brazilian teenage girls with cancer: preliminary results.
ESC Congress Library. Guazzelli C. May 28, 2014; 50486; A-070
Prof. Dr. Cristina Guazzelli
Prof. Dr. Cristina Guazzelli
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Abstract
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Introduction: Due to improvements in diagnosis and treatment, the survival and quality of life of adolescent girls with cancer is improving. Adolescence is also a period of social interactions and sexual awakening. Unprotected sex during this period can lead to unplanned pregnancy with consequences for the treatment and prognosis of these girls  .


 


Objectives: Assess the  use of contraceptive methods by adolescent girls with cancer.


 


Methods: This observational cross sectional survey is interviewing adolescent girls (10-19 years)  receiving treatment at the outpatient clinic  at single instititution specialized in the treatment of cancer in Sao Paulo, Brazil (Oncologia Pediátrica - GRAACC / Escola Paulista de Medicina). A questionnaire specifically created for this study was used to collect information on gynecological and obstetric history and use of contraceptive methods.


 


Results: We present data on the first 19 participants.  Mean age was 15 (± 2.4) years, most were Caucasians (64%) and single (94.7 %), mean age at menarche was 11.6 ± 1.3 years and mean age at diagnosis of cancer was 13.3 ± 2.5 years; most had osteosarcoma (42%) or leukemia (36%).. Approximately 26% were sexually active before the diagnosis of cancer and mean age at first intercourse was 13 ± 0.5 years. and Most girls (57.8%) informed that they had received contraceptive counseling. Among the  sexually active girls, the most frequently used methods were oral or injectable hormonal contraceptives (89%), followed by condoms (15%). Almost 70% of those who used hormonal contraception developed amenorrhea or irregular bleeding when they started cancer treatment; however, 61%  of these girls reported that they had forgotten to take at least one pill before the onset of bleeding. A total of 21% had never used any contraceptive method and two (10.5%) had at least one previous unplanned pregnancy.


 


 


Conclusions: Most adolescent girls in treatment for cancer in a single Brazilian institution use hormonal contraceptives . However, over half of them report inadequate use of the method. There is a need for more information and counseling among this population.

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