Many cancer patients are extremely vulnerable, and their fear of the future is heightened to a level of desperation when fertility options seem bleak. It is imperative that we, as the medical team, provide appropriate information about the fertility options available after remission or cure. We should also protect patients against false expectations with a concise, factual discussion of the various techniques and success rates, given their individual fertility hurdleswhether it is an actual loss of organs or decreased functionality of components of the reproductive system. Obviously, this information needs to be given early in the development of a treatment plan. Above all else, we should respect the patient's autonomy and right to embark on the posttreatment course that best fits her desired quality of life.
The ASRM has two useful websites for both professionals and patients with a desire for more information about fertility preservation after gynecologic cancer:
(1) The Fertility Preservation Special Interest Group site is available at www.asrm.org/Professionals/PG-SIG-Affiliated_Soc/fpsig/fpsig_index.html.(2) The Mental Health Professional Group site can be accessed here: www.asrm.org/Professionals/PG-SIG-Affiliated_Soc/MHPG/index.html.
Carla P. Roberts, MD, PHD
Ira R. Horowitz, MD, SM