Talk with your oncology team members about the effects treatment may have on you or your child's fertility. If possible, gather this information before treatment begins. The American Society of Clinical Oncology recommends that patients interested in fertility preservation consider their options as soon as possible to maximize the likelihood of success. Your oncology team members may not be able to answer all your questions, but they can refer you to fertility specialists who can help you understand and explore your options.
As you consider your treatment and fertility options, you may want to also talk with:
- A genetic counselor
- An obstetrician-gynecologist or urologist
- A reproductive endocrinology specialist
Cancer treatment-related infertility may also be associated with emotional distress, so counseling may be beneficial for some individuals.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
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. Some questions you may want to ask are:
- What are the chances the treatment will affect my fertility?
- Have other people been able to get pregnant or father a child naturally after receiving this treatment?
- What can we do to protect fertility before treatment begins, during treatment and/or after treatment ends? Can you recommend a fertility specialist that I can speak with?
- How will I know if treatment has affected my fertility?
- If I have a period of infertility after treatment, should I have my fertility status re-evaluated in the future? If yes, how soon should I have a follow-up evaluation?
Learning that you have cancer-treatment-related infertility may bring on feelings of sadness, anger, or grief. Some people find it helpful to talk about this. 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.