Physician perceptions and practice patterns regarding fertility preservation in hematopoietic cell transplant recipients.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Bone marrow transplantation (2013)


2013, Clinical Research Division, March 2013, Public Health Sciences Division


Physician practice variation may be a barrier to informing hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients about fertility preservation (FP) options. We surveyed HCT physicians in the United States to evaluate FP knowledge, practices, perceptions and barriers. Of the 1035 physicians invited, 185 completed a 29-item web-survey. Most respondents demonstrated knowledge of FP issues and discussed and felt comfortable discussing FP. However, only 55% referred patients to an infertility specialist. Most did not provide educational materials to patients and only 35% felt that available materials were relevant for HCT. Notable barriers to discussing FP included perception that patients were too ill to delay transplant (63%), patients were already infertile from prior therapy (92%) and time constraints (41%). Pediatric HCT physicians and physicians with access to an infertility specialist were more likely to discuss FP and to discuss FP even when prognosis was poor. On analyses that considered physician demographics, knowledge and perceptions as predictors of referral for FP, access to an infertility specialist and belief that patients were interested in FP were observed to be significant. We highlight variation in HCT physician perceptions and practices regarding FP. Physicians are generally interested in discussing fertility issues with their patients but lack educational materials.Bone Marrow Transplantation advance online publication, 18 February 2013; doi:10.1038/bmt.2013.13.