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Fertility, Family Planning & Sexuality

Piedmont Brain Tumor Center providers strive to bring you the information and support that optimizes your life in ways far beyond your tumor care.

Fertility & Family Planning

For patients in their reproductive years, it is important to initiate a conversation with your provider as soon as possible about family planning as it relates to your diagnosis and anticipated treatments. Ideally, this occurs before you begin treatment but is not always possible given the medical urgency of most primary and metastatic brain tumors. If a patient thinks she or the patient’s partner may be pregnant, it is imperative to immediately let your providers know and to request a pregnancy test.

Family planning topics range from discussing possible fertility preservation options to implementing a highly reliable birth control plan. Especially as it relates to pursuing fertility preservation, sufficient time is needed to meet with fertility specialists and undergo treatments such as ovary suppression or sperm and egg collection followed by cryopreservation. Relatedly, although cryopreservation is becoming increasingly covered by insurances, some patients need extra time to go through the insurance process and/or look for additional sources of funding, such as grants or charities. Other fertility preservation methods may be investigational and provided through a clinical trial.

Lastly, a pregnant or breastfeeding woman occasionally requires urgent treatment, thus requiring highly specialized planning for both the mother and either unborn child or infant. Learn more below.

Sexual Activity & Sexual Safety

For all patients affected by primary or metastatic brain tumors, there may be time-periods where one’s sexual activity may change. Reasons may include one’s sense of body image, libido, emotional distress, sexual dysfunction, or other symptoms that minimize intimacy, such as fatigue, wound healing or neurologic deficits. Causes may include the tumor’s type and location or be related to treatment. These changes may impact your partner, as well.

It is important to initiate a conversation with your provider regarding options to optimize your functionality and quality of life. Support may include medical treatments, support groups, education, and/or other referrals.

Relatedly, some treatments may pose some health risks to you and/or your sexual partner for short time-periods. Examples include the presence of chemotherapy byproducts in one’s urine or the safe handling of self-administered pills and gels. Support may include education and strategies to minimize or risks. It is important to initiate a conversation with your provider about these topics and other questions you may have. Learn more below.

Additional Resources