Want to share this resource with your colleagues? Print our PDF describing the resources the Oncofertility Consortium® provides Obstetrician Gynecologists.
Obstetricians and gynecologists (OBGYN) are the primary physicians to many women during their reproductive years, and therefore are in a unique position to be at the forefront of the oncofertility initiative by ensuring the proper counseling, referrals, and continuity of care for their patients before, during, and after treatment for malignant and non-malignant conditions that threaten fertility. Understanding the risks of ovarian failure and reproductive dysfunction caused by gonadotoxic therapies or diseases and being aware of the fertility preservation options currently available will be crucial knowledge to have in formulating the most appropriate discussion with patients during the extraordinarily stressful time. By building a long-term physician-patient relationship, OBGYNs are the best advocates for their patients in helping them to make the most informed decisions regarding their future fertility and reproductive capacity.
As understanding of ovarian biology and fertility threats continues to grow, the ability to preserve reproductive function while undergoing treatment for malignant and non-malignant diseases which threaten fertility will undoubtedly improve. The development of oncofertility has spearheaded much progress on this front, and will continue to provide an ideal environment for clinicians, scientists, and other professionals to identify and solve some of the most difficult issues facing fertility today and tomorrow.
Learn more about the OBGYN role in oncofertility in "Creating a Continuum of Care: Integrating Obstetricians and Gynecologists in the Care of Young Cancer Patients", an article by Betty Y. Kong, Robin M. Scory, and Teresa K. Woodruff published in Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology.
View the Oncofertility Consortium® resources for obstetrician-gynecologists to learn more about fertility preservation communication strategies.
Pregnancy During Cancer Treatment
If a new cancer diagnosis presents as a difficult conversation between the physician and patient, then this diagnosis during pregnancy can only be that much more challenging to address. If the woman desires to maintain the pregnancy, all medical decisions made related to the mother’s health and future fertility are deeply intertwined with consequences to the fetus. Research on this topic is in its infancy and only time will allow us to tease apart the benefits and harms of each medical decision and its impact on the cancer, the pregnancy, and future fertility in both mother and baby. In these challenging situations, obstetricians play a particularly integral role as patient advocates in seeking the necessary interdisciplinary care, for they may be the first individuals to diagnose the cancer.
Join The National Physicians Cooperative
Join the National Physicians Cooperative, a nationwide network of fertility preservation providers who share the common goal to protect and preserve reproductive health through the continuum of care of care and across the lifespan of patients.
National Physicians Cooperative Membership Benefits
- Access to a national referral network for patients seeking fertility preservation
- Information on how to establish a multidisciplinary Fertility Preservation program
- Training in the best practices, including technology updates and practice management
- Templates and assistance for obtaining IRB approval for participation in multicenter NPC studies
- Access to materials and tools as needed to support clinical studies
- Compensation for the time and materials required to freeze tissues for the research pool
- Invitations to Virtual Grand Rounds, annual meetings, special events
- Information about the financial aspects of fertility preservation
- Use of a Fertility Preservation Brochure tailored to your program
Implement a Fertility Preservation Program
The Oncofertility Consortium and National Physicians Cooperative provide resources to assist providers intereted in implementing a fertility preservation program.
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The Decision Tool Web Portal is a library of existing oncofertility resources designed to help OBGYNs navigate fertility preservation conversations. Available Resources include:
- Communication strategies for discussing fertility preservation options with patients of all ages and their family members
- Decision tools and aids designed to guide patient fertility preservation discussions
- ASCO and ASRM clinical guidelines and recommendations
- Information on existing and experimental fertility preservation techniques and technology
- Print and online patient educational resources
The Oncofertility Consortium® offers many educational resources for OBGYNs in addition to our web portal, such as virtual grand rounds on young adult survivorship issues, clinical information for reproductive specialists, and fertility preservation pocket guides.
To refer a patient for a fertility preservation consultation, call the Oncofertility Consortium® FERTline at 312-503-FERT or 866-708-FERT and print out this flyer to give to your patient.
The Oncofertility Consortium® works with many advocacy organizations and support groups to provide young cancer patients with support and assistance regarding fertility, reproductive health, and quality of life throughout survivorship.
Patients are often concerned about the cost of fertility preservation procedures. To learn more about oncofertility and insurance coverage, read Incorporating Insurance Education into the Fertility Preservation Process from Oncofertility Communication (2014) or check out the Oncofertility Consortium® blog post on Insurance Coverage for Fertility Preservation.
Do you have patients interested in fertility preservation and in need of financial aid? Fertile Action can help! Fertile Action offers financial aid for women with recent cancer diagnoses interested in fertility preservation. The advocacy organization provides additional financial information and resources, as well as online support groups for patients.