Incorporating Partners and Spouses in Oncofertility Communication
As couples in which one partner has cancer face decisions regarding fertility preservation and potential future infertility, oncofertility communication is crucial. The new yet rapidly growing area of oncofertility communication research, however, has focused largely on how to involve physicians, adult patients, and parents of adolescents and children with cancer diagnoses into oncofertility discussions. Little to no research has examined the need to involve partners in oncofertility communication. This chapter serves to both review the relevant research on couples’ issues related to fertility preservation and infertility and highlight the need for more research and clinical interventions in this area. Because couples bring with them a unique set of issues to the topic of fertility preservation and potential infertility in cancer patients, research is needed which focuses on the impact of fertility preservation decisions and potential infertility on the couple’s relationship. Such research not only could lead to couple-based interventions that actively involve partners in oncofertility discussions but could also potentially improve couples’ communication, marital and sexual satisfaction, and intimacy. We hope this chapter serves as a springboard to advance the new but quickly growing field of oncofertility.
KeywordsSexual Satisfaction Marital Satisfaction Fertility Preservation Oocyte Cryopreservation Fertility Issue
Dr. Shen’s work on this project was supported by a cancer prevention fellowship from the National Cancer Institute (5R25CA081137, Guy Montgomery, Ph.D., Principal Investigator) and by the Oncofertility Consortium NIH 5UL1DE019587.
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