Birth desires and intentions of women diagnosed with a meningioma

Petroclival meningioma outcomes

J Neurosurg 122:1151–1156, 2015

To the authors’ knowledge, no previous study has examined the impact of meningioma diagnosis on women’s birth desires and intentions. In an exploratory study, the authors surveyed women affected by meningioma to determine their attitudes toward childbearing and the influences, including physician recommendations, on this major life decision and compared their responses to those of women in the general population.

Methods Meningioma survivors from the Meningioma Mommas online support group participated in an online survey that included questions on their birth desires and intentions, whether the risk of disease recurrence influenced their reproductive decisions, and risks communicated to them by their physicians. Using chi-square and rank-sum tests, the authors compared the survey participants’ responses with those of the general population as assessed by the 2006– 2010 National Survey of Family Growth. Logistic regression was used to adjust for differences in age, race, ethnicity, education, parity, pregnancy status, and infertility status in these populations.

Results Respondents with meningioma were more likely than those in the general population to report wanting a baby (70% vs 54%, respectively), intending to have a baby (27% vs 12%, respectively), and being very sure about this intention (10% vs 2%, respectively). More than half (32 of 61) of the women of childbearing age reported being advised by a physician about potential risk factors for recurrence of the meningioma, and pregnancy was the most commonly cited risk factor (26 of 61). The most common factor influencing birth desires and intentions was risk of the meningioma returning and requiring more treatment, which was reported by nearly two-thirds of the women in their childbearing years.

Conclusions A majority of the meningioma survivors of childbearing age who completed the survey reported a desire for children, although concern about the risk of meningioma recurrence was an important factor for these women when making reproductive decisions. Physicians are in a position to educate their patients on potential risk factors for recurrence and to provide contact information for services such as counseling and family planning.