Psychological Counseling of Female Fertility Preservation Patients

Angela K. Lawson*, Susan C. Klock, Mary Ellen Pavone, Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron, Kristin N. Smith, Ralph R. Kazer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Young cancer patients are increasingly interested in preserving their fertility prior to undergoing gonadotoxic therapies. Although the medical safety and treatment protocols for fertility preservation have been well documented, limited research has addressed the emotional issues that arise in fertility preservation patients. We briefly review the literature on the psychosocial issues in adult female fertility preservation treatment and describe our experiences within this patient population. Our findings suggest that several important issues to be addressed during the psychological counseling of adult female fertility preservation patients include: (1) preexisting psychological distress in patients undergoing treatment, (2) choice of fertility preservation strategy in the face of an uncertain relationship future, (3) decision making regarding use of third-party reproduction (e.g., sperm/egg donation, gestational surrogacy), (4) treatment expectations regarding pregnancy and miscarriage, (5) ethical issues related to treatment including the creation, cryopreservation, and disposition of embryos/oocytes, and (6) decision regret from patients who declined fertility preservation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-353
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 4 2015


  • cancer
  • fertility preservation
  • psychological counseling
  • psychosocial oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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