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Talking about the fertility preservation decision with others

Some women find it helps to talk about their diagnosis of cancer, and fertility preservation, with others.

You may find it helpful to talk about issues such as:

  • Making difficult decisions.
  • Expressing your feelings to your loved ones.
  • The impact of cancer and fertility on your relationships.
  • Anxiety and stress.
  • Moral, religious or ethical concerns.
  • Coping with your cancer and fertility treatments.
  • Ways you can manage your own feelings.

Finding the best support for you can mean you are able to cope better with your situation. This may help manage some of these emotional challenges. People choose different ways to help them feel supported. These could include:

  • Finding out about all the options available.
  • Keeping a diary or notes about your thoughts and reasons for your decisions.
  • Thinking about who you might want to involve in your decision-making – a partner, family and friends or a nurse or doctor.
  • Seeking counselling. This can be done either alone, with your partner or someone else close to you. Professional counsellors, who are not directly involved in your fertility or cancer care, may be available in the fertility and cancer clinics. Other counselling organisations which may be able to provide this dedicated counselling support have been listed here.
  • Talking to people who have been through similar experiences. There are support organisations available. We have listed some of these here. You may also choose to speak to a member of your cancer care team and fertility care team.
  • There may be times when you may not want to talk about fertility and cancer. If you are a private person, writing in a diary or expressing yourself creatively may be helpful.

Recommended sources of information

The HFEA is the UK’s independent regulator overseeing the use of gametes (eggs and sperm) and embryos in fertility treatment and research. There is advice on their website about how you can get the most out of your fertility consultations. You can do this by:

  • Asking questions.
  • Taking time out to think things through – there can be a lot of difficult issues to consider.
  • Remembering that the fertility care team are there to help you make the right choice for you. The HFEA website www.hfea.gov.uk has more information about fertility clinics, fertility preservation treatments and fertility success rates in your area.