Centre for Reproductive Health

Anderson group

Female fertility preservation and hormonal male contraception

Professor Richard Anderson (BSc(Hons), PhD, MB. ChB, MD, FRCOG, FRSE)

  • Elsie Inglis Professor of Clinical Reproductive Science
  • Head of Section, Obstetrics and Gynaecology (University of Edinburgh)

Contact details



The Centre for Reproductive Health
Institute for Regeneration and Repair (IRR)
4-5 Little France Drive
Edinburgh BioQuarter

Post Code
EH16 4UU

Main research area and why it is important

We research into 2 areas of reproductive health:

  1. Female fertility and its preservation.  Many cancer treatments affect female fertility., and other medical conditions can also cause early loss of fertility. We are investigating how to protect against this, and how to best identify those women at risk of this.

    Graphic of Research Aim 1
  2. Hormonal male contraception.  Men continue to be unable to contribute to the use of modern methods for family planning.  We are involved in trials to develop and test new methods of hormonal contraception for men.
Graphic of Research Aim 2


Progress and current research projects

  1. Fertility preservation

We have recently been awarded MRC funding for the PROTECT study: this involves assessing the effects of cancer treatment on reproductive function in males and females with cancer, age 13-25.  We are opening recruitment centres across the UK, with currently 15 centres open. Protect@ed.ac.uk

We are also furthering development of the cancer fertility and me.co.uk decision aid website (https://cancerfertilityandme.org.uk/), with Prof Georgina Jones, Leeds Beckett University. We are translating the text into different European languages, which will all be accessible on the same website.  We are also developing related decision aids for other patient groups, including men, and the parents of children with cancer.

Laboratory studies with Dr Roseanne Rosario are exploring the direct effects of chemotherapy on the human ovary, and how we can protect against this.

  1. Hormonal male contraception

We are currently taking part in a trial of a self-applied testosterone/nestorone gel (ie a testosterone with progestogen combination).  This is a contraceptive efficacy trial, so once the man’s sperm count is adequately suppressed, the couple will use it as their only method of contraception for 12 months. The trial is funded and organised by NICHD and the Population Council.


Selected publications

Anderson RA, Kelsey TW, Perdrix A, Olympios N, Duhamel O, Lambertini M, Clatot F. Diagnostic and predictive accuracy of anti-mullerian hormone for ovarian function after chemotherapy in premenopausal women with early breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2022;192: 273-282.

Anderson RA, Cameron D, Clatot F, Demeestere I, Lambertini M, Nelson SM, Peccatori F. Anti-Mullerian hormone as a marker of ovarian reserve and premature ovarian insufficiency in children and women with cancer: a systematic review. Hum Reprod Update 2022.

Anderson RA, Kelsey TW, Morrison DS, Wallace WHB. Family size and duration of fertility in female cancer survivors: a population-based analysis. Fertil Steril 2022;117: 387-395.

Mauz-Korholz C, Landman-Parker J, Balwierz W, Ammann RA, Anderson RA, Attarbaschi A, Bartelt JM, Beishuizen A, Boudjemaa S, Cepelova M, Claviez A, Daw S, Dieckmann K, Fernandez-Teijeiro A, Fossa A, Gattenlohner S, Georgi T, Hjalgrim LL, Hraskova A, Karlen J, Kluge R, Kurch L, Leblanc T, Mann G, Montravers F, Pears J, Pelz T, Rajic V, Ramsay AD, Stoevesandt D, Uyttebroeck A, Vordermark D, Korholz D, Hasenclever D, Wallace WH. Response-adapted omission of radiotherapy and comparison of consolidation chemotherapy in children and adolescents with intermediate-stage and advanced-stage classical Hodgkin lymphoma (EuroNet-PHL-C1): a titration study with an open-label, embedded, multinational, non-inferiority, randomised controlled trial. Lancet Oncol 2022;23: 125-137.

Cui W, Francis PA, Loi S, Hickey M, Stern C, Na L, Partridge AH, Loibl S, Anderson RA, Hutt KJ, Keogh LA, Phillips KA. Assessment of Ovarian Function in Phase 3 (Neo)adjuvant Breast Cancer Clinical Trials: A Systematic Evaluation. J Natl Cancer Inst 2021.

Reynolds-Wright JJ and Anderson RA Male contraception: where are we going and where have we been? BMJ Sex Reprod Health 2019. 10.1136/bmjsrh-2019-200395