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Development of a Pediatric Fertility Preservation Program: A Report From the Pediatric Initiative Network of the Oncofertility Consortium

      Abstract

      Infertility is known to decrease quality of life among adults. In some cases, infertility is caused by medical conditions and/or treatments prescribed in childhood, and using methods to protect or preserve fertility may expand future reproductive possibilities. Structured programs to offer counseling about infertility risk and fertility preservation options are essential in the care of pediatric patients facing fertility-threatening conditions or treatments, yet multiple barriers to program development exist. This report was developed from the institutional experiences of members of the Pediatric Initiative Network of the Oncofertility Consortium, with the intent of providing guidance for health care providers aiming to establish programs at institutions lacking pediatric fertility preservation services. The mechanics of building a fertility preservation program are discussed, including essential team members, target populations, fertility preservation options (both established and experimental), survivorship issues, research opportunities, and ethical considerations. Common barriers to program development and utilization, including low referral rates and financial concerns, are also discussed, and recommendations made for overcoming such barriers.

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      Linked Article

      • Pediatric Fertility Counseling
        Journal of Adolescent HealthVol. 64Issue 5
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          Infertility and diminished fertility are relevant to pediatric populations, but only beginning to be explored and clinically managed systematically in pediatric settings. This is a significant issue, one that impacts a wide variety of pediatric patients, and complex in an abundance of ways. Conceiving and/or giving birth to genetic children is only possible after the onset of puberty and typically occurs volitionally only well after that. However, pediatric patients and their families often need to grapple with fertility concerns well in advance of late adolescence and/or adulthood.
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