Providers Should Discuss Future Fertility Issues More Often

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Future Issues Important for Fertility Preservation Decisions
Future Issues Important for Fertility Preservation Decisions

(HealthDay News) -- Future decisions and issues must be considered by cancer patients in their fertility preservation decision-making process, according to a clinical opinion piece published in the August issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Noting that individuals diagnosed with cancer have an increasing number of options to resolve fertility complications before, during, and after treatment, Gwendolyn P. Quinn, Ph.D., and Susan T. Vadaparampil, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of South Florida in Tampa, discuss future issues related to fertility preservation.

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According to the authors, the choice to pursue fertility preservation is not an isolated decision. Future decisions may arise for the individual or couple, which may not have been discussed at the time of the decision-making process. Health care providers must advise patients about the continuum of decision making. Future decisions include storage duration for frozen gametes, donation of banked gametes to infertile couples, and the acceptability of creation of embryos with one partner to a new partner. The importance of preparing patients adequately for these issues must be considered.

"The foundation for fertility preservation discussions in oncology has been laid; it is now time to improve the quality of this communication and thus overall quality of life for patients and survivors," the authors write.

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