Psychosocial benefits of fertility preservation for young cancer patients
The risk of ovarian failure after radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy is a concern among oncologic women. There is no doubt regarding the psycho-emotional benefits of fertility preservation (FP) after a cancer diagnosis because concerns about biological conception are a source of anxiety and can even affect the patient’s cancer recovery. The aim of this study was to evaluate oncology patients’ feelings, concerns, and life quality impacts related to FP.
This qualitative cross-sectional study was based on a questionnaire administered to a selected group of women diagnosed with cancer who underwent FP. Thirty-four eligible women (23–39 years old) completed this questionnaire.
Two of the participants already had a child, and most of them (61.8%) stated a desire to have children at the time of FP. Their feelings primarily involved safety (44.1%) and hope (23.5%). Time and/or financial issues (82.4%) were the main challenge for FP. All of the women noted the importance of FP, with many stating that it is warranted to allow the possibility of a biological pregnancy due to the risk of infertility. Finally, questions about the impact on their lives if they had not undergone FP indicated emotional impairment, low quality of life, relationship problems, and uncertainty about maternity.
FP for oncology patients is a positive strategy. The women in this study felt that FP was a worthwhile process and that the security of having undergone FP brought them peace during oncological treatment and contributed to their quality of life.
KeywordsFertility preservation Oncofertility Psychological aspects Questionnaire Nursing
We are very thankful to Huntington Medicina Reprodutiva for conducting the fertility preservation procedures and care for the cancer patients.
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