Attitudes and perceptions towards fertility preservation among cancer survivor partners
Kendra Frome, BS, Allison Goetsch , MS, Cathy Wicklund , MS, Christina G Hutten Selkirk , MS, and Teresa K Woodruff , PhD
Purpose: To investigate attitudes and perceptions towards fertility preservation (FP) among cancer survivor partners, as well as evaluate partner influence and additional factors that impact decision-making in pursuing FP.
Methods: Partners (n = 50) of cancer survivors and fighters were recruited to take an online survey through nine cancer support organizations. Cancer survivors and fighters were invited to share the link with their partner. Survey question themes included attitudes towards FP, partner perceptions of the level of influence they have on the patient’s decision to pursue FP, and partner perspectives of the different factors that play a role in their decision to engage in FP.
Results: Almost all (98%) of partners thought FP was an acceptable family building option. Seventy-seven percent of partners were present at the time of the patient’s treatment options discussion, and 66% of partners said that they received information about the patient’s FP options. Half of partners (52%) felt they received enough FP information and the majority of partners (66%) were interested in learning more about FP. Eighty-three percent of partners said that the patient discussed the option of FP with them before making a decision. When asked what factors would play a role in the decision to pursue or not to pursue FP, partners said that desire for future children (86%) and safety of FP timing with cancer (81%) were the most influential factors.
Conclusion: Partners play an active role in the FP decision-making process. Our findings support the involvement and participation of partners in the FP discussions.