Question checklist

Sunday 1 May, 2016

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You may find this checklist helpful when thinking about the questions you want to ask your doctor about your disease, treatment and fertility. If your doctor gives you answers that you don’t understand, ask for clarification.

  • Will cancer or its treatment affect my fertility?
  • Will this be temporary or permanent?
  • What fertility options do I have before treatment starts?
  • What are the pros and cons of each fertility option?
  • Which fertility option should I avoid and why?
  • What options do I have after treatment?
  • How long after treatment should I wait before trying to conceive?
  • How much will preserving my fertility cost (total out-of-pocket fertility expenses)?
  • Which parts are covered by Medicare rebates?
  • What does my health insurance cover?
  • Do I need to pay up-front before treatment begins?

Questions for reflection

Thinking about your answers to these questions may help your decision-making. There are no right or wrong answers.

  • Has cancer changed my life goals, including having a child?
  • If I decide not to have a child, what has led me to this decision?
  • Are there benefits to not having a child?
  • If I have a child, is it important to me that it would be biologically related to me?
  • What does my partner think?
  • Which fertility option appeals to me and why?

Reviewers: Prof Roger Hart, Medical Director of Fertility Specialists of Western Australia and Professor of Reproductive Medicine, School of Women’s and Infant Health, University of Western Australia, WA; Dr Antoinette Anazodo, Paediatric and Adolescent Oncologist, Sydney Children’s and Prince of Wales Hospitals, Director of the Sydney Youth Cancer Service, NSW; Brenda Kirkwood, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Queensland, QLD; Dr Michael McEvoy, Director of Clinical Services, Flinders Fertility, SA; Eden Robertson, Research Officer, Behavioural Sciences Unit, Sydney Children’s Hospital, NSW; Kayla Schmidt, Consumer; A/Prof Kate Stern, Head of Fertility Preservation Service, The Royal Women’s Hospital and Melbourne IVF, Head Endocrine and Metabolic Service, Royal Women’s Hospital and Clinical Director, Melbourne IVF, VIC; and Prof Jane Ussher, Centre for Health Research, Western Sydney University, NSW.