Ask your oncology team about the fertility effects of your treatment. By having this information before treatment begins, you can consider the options most likely to preserve your fertility. You can also ask for a referral to a fertility specialist to help you understand and explore your options. Fertility specialists include:
- Reproductive endocrinologists
- Surgeons with training in fertility preservation
Psychologists or therapists can also help patients with the decision-making process and facilitate conversations with couples and families.
Questions to Ask Members of Your Healthcare Team
- What are the chances that treatment will affect my fertility?
- Have other patients been able to get pregnant without medical intervention after receiving this treatment?
- Have other patients been able to contribute to a pregnancy without medical intervention after receiving this treatment?
- Are there alternative treatments that will not affect my fertility?
- What can I do to protect fertility before treatment begins, during treatment and/or after treatment ends?
- How much time do I have to take measures to preserve my fertility before I need to start treatment?
- Can you recommend a fertility specialist that I can speak with?
- How will I know if treatment has affected my fertility? Are there any tests I can take?
- If I have a period of infertility after treatment, should I have my fertility status re-evaluated? If yes, how soon should I have a follow-up evaluation?
- Are either premature ovarian failure or hormone deficiencies possible side effects of my treatment? If so, how could these be treated?
- If my fertility cannot be preserved, what are my options to start a family after treatment is over?
- Is pregnancy safe for me after treatment? How long should I wait after treatment ends to try to get pregnant?
- Are there any risks to my future children based on the type of cancer I have and the treatment I received?
Learning that you have cancer-treatment-related infertility may bring up feelings of sadness, anger, and/or grief. Some people find it helpful to talk about their feelings. Consider asking your healthcare team the following questions:
- Can you suggest a local support group of people who have been through the same challenges?
- Can you recommend a mental health specialist I can speak with?
- Download or order The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s free fact sheet, Fertility Facts.