NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer, Version 1.2017
What do I need to know about
Fertility preservation is all about keeping your options
open, whether you know you want to have children
later in life or aren’t really sure at the moment.
Reproductive specialists and the members of an
oncofertility team can help you sort through what may
work for you.
Depending on the type of cancer you have and the
specialists available in your area, your oncofertility
team may include:
who should start the
conversation about cancer-related infertility
and help you understand your risks.
A nurse navigator
or case manager who
will help you navigate the referral process,
coordinate the various specialists involved in
your care, and help deal with your insurance.
An endocrinologist/reproductive specialist
who specializes in fertility and cancer and can
explain your fertility preservation options—
including how they are done, success rates,
timing, and costs. This specialist will carry out
the fertility-sparing procedure.
A genetics counselor
who can assess your
risk of passing on genetic abnormalities to
your children. This is usually done within the 2
months of starting treatment.
A gynecologist (for women) or urologist
to assess your risk of infertility and
guide you in addressing your fertility needs.
A gynecologic oncologist (for women)
specializes in female cancers. This is usually
a surgeon and may be the one to perform
fertility-sparing surgery, if needed.
A family-planning specialist
who can offer
information about many different options for
becoming a parent.
An adoption professional
who can provide
information and counseling on the process
of becoming an adoptive parent. This can
include criteria, timing, and costs.
A social worker or mental health counselor
who can give emotional support and
counseling as you consider your fertility
Before you make a decision about how—or if—to
preserve your fertility, you will need to think about
what you need the most when it comes to becoming
a parent. If you’re in a serious relationship, it may
help to involve your partner in this discussion. If
you’re younger and have never given much thought to
having kids, you may want to talk with your parents or
caregivers. Crucial questions to consider include:
Have you always wanted children?
How many children do you want to have? And
How do you feel about adoption?
How would you feel about using donor sperm
or donor embryos?
How would you feel about having a surrogate
bear your child?
Do you have any religious or moral concerns
about technologies such as IVF
ertilization) or embryo transplantation?
You will also want to think about finances. All fertility
preservation methods have an out-of-pocket cost, and
many treatments are still being studied. You’ll need
to check with your insurance company about what
they will cover.
Fortunately, the LIVESTRONG Foundation’s Fertility
section has an information guide on Fertility &
Family Planning. It addresses things like money and
insurance. It also offers financial assistance for fertility
medication and other services for freezing embryos,
eggs, and sperm. Visithttps://www.livestrong.org/we- can-help/livestrong-fertility#
to learn more.
Preparing for the future
What do I need to know about fertility?