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Provision of Onco-Fertility Support 

Provision of Onco-Fertility Support
Chapter:
Provision of Onco-Fertility Support
Author(s):

Roxana Schwab

, Andrea Kiemen

, Joachim Weis

, and Annette Hasenburg

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190934033.003.0001
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date: 05 May 2021

The chapter considers issues where oncologic therapy can lead to partial or complete damage to the gonads (ovaries or testes), thus impairing fertility or reducing the fertile lifespan. We discuss the relatively new discipline of onco-fertility, which considers patients’ psychosocial needs, including sexual health, intimate relationships, and the affordability of fertility-preservation measures. Referral and counseling for fertility preservation should be performed as soon as possible after the cancer diagnosis. Assessment of reproductive potential should be offered to all cancer patients. Healthcare professionals should be proactive regarding fertility-preservation counseling. A multidisciplinary team consisting of oncologists, fertility specialists, specialized nurses, mental health professionals, psycho-oncologists, social workers, and support groups should be available when dealing with infertility as a side effect of cancer therapy. Shared decision making regarding fertility preservation is an important issue. Partners may need psychological counseling referrals as well, or couple counseling on communication and sexuality.

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