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?
- Can you refer me to a fertility specialist?
- 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?
Expert content reviewers:
Dr Yasmin Jayasinghe, Paediatric Gynaecologist, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Co-chair Fertility Preservation Taskforce, Melbourne, and Senior Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Melbourne, VIC; Dr Peter Downie, Head, Paediatric Haematology-Oncology and Director, Children's Cancer Centre, Monash Children's Hospital, and Director, Victorian Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service, VIC; Carmen Heathcote, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Queensland; Aaron Lewis, Consumer; Pampa Ray, Consumer; Dr Sally Reid, Gynaecologist, Fertility SA and Advanced Gynaecological Surgery Centre, Visiting Consultant, Women's and Children's Hospital, and Clinical Senior Lecturer, School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health, The University of Adelaide, SA; A/Prof Kate Stern, Head, Fertility Preservation Service, The Royal Women's Hospital and Melbourne IVF and Head, Endocrine/Metabolic Clinic, Royal Women's Hospital, and Co-chair, AYA cancer fertility preservation guidance working group, VIC.