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Introducing the Virtual Patient Navigator for Fertility Preservation

A new website has just been launched to provide assistance to young patients wishing to learn about their reproductive options in the midst of a cancer diagnosis. As many of you know, the Oncofertility Consortium has a patient navigator for Fertility Preservation, Kristin Smith, who answers the national (and global) FERTline hotline. Kristin is experienced at talking to patients and providers about the best reproductive options for cancer survivors at all stages of treatment. But what happens when a young person would like to review these options in the middle of the night or do not have access to a phone?

Now patients and their clinicians can go to the new Patient Navigator for Fertility Preservation website, which includes an interactive tool to provide information on the available options for males and females, before or after puberty, and before, during, or after cancer treatment. This website can be found at FertilityPreservation.Northwestern.edu.

On the website, patients can also watch tutorials that explain normal male and female fertility and how these are impacted by different cancer treatments such as radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. They can also watch videos of personal stories from people young people who have chosen a variety of the fertility preservation options available, including sperm banking, oocyte and embryo banking, and ovarian tissue cryopreservation. Watch the videos of Tiffany, Jonny, Matthew, Jenna, Dan, and Abby here.

The website is also built in a new platform, called responsive design, which allows viewers to interact with the site on any device including PC, tablet, or cell phone. The website automatically changes configuration for each type of device allowing for a smooth user experience for every person viewing the site.

Finally, the patient navigator website, which is hosted by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern, identifies some of the many partner programs within the Chicago area, including other departments within Northwestern, the Institute for Women’s Health Research, and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.  Together these resources aim to ensure that all young patients and their families are provided with reproductive options in the midst of a cancer diagnosis.

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