Iris Mini: 10 Questions to Ask Your Provider About Cancer-Related Fertility Changes

Learning from your healthcare team about the ways your treatment may impact fertility can not only be helpful but can also make you feel empowered. Obtaining as much information as you can around the options available, as well as getting psychosocial support, may minimize stress.

There may be options before, during, and after treatment, and early conversations could increase the number of options available to you. A conversation about fertility impact may be uncomfortable, and you might not know where to begin or what to ask. This is to be expected and is a feeling shared by others with cancer.

Your healthcare team may initiate a discussion about the topic, but this is not always the case. Gaining knowledge can help you determine a plan of action regarding how to address possible fertility issues, as well as help you when discussing these issues with important people in your life.

Here are some questions to help start a conversation around fertility with your treatment team or with an Iris mental health therapist.

  • What is the likelihood that my treatment may impact fertility?

  • Can certain fertility drugs cause a new cancer diagnosis or recurrence?

  • Are there options to protect fertility before I begin treatment? What options are available during and after treatment?

  • Will my medical team recommend a fertility specialist?

  • Is financial assistance available to help with the cost of fertility preservation?

  • Do tools exist to assist in decision making around fertility?

  • Is there a local or online support group for patients facing fertility challenges?

  • What are the physical and psychological risks associated with pursuing or not pursuing fertility preservation?

  • What legal or ethical issues should I consider when determining fertility options?

  • Is there a genetic risk of my cancer for my biological children?


Fertility Preservation in Women and Girls (Mayo Clinic - video)

Fertility Preservation (Mayo Clinic - video)

Livestrong Fertility (Livestrong)