Counseling Needed for Pediatric Patients With Impaired Fertility

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Counseling about impaired fertility and sexual function for at-risk pediatric populations in developmentally appropriate ways is essential.
Counseling about impaired fertility and sexual function for at-risk pediatric populations in developmentally appropriate ways is essential.

HealthDay News — Counseling about impaired fertility and sexual function for at-risk pediatric populations in developmentally appropriate ways is essential, according to a clinical report published in the August issue of Pediatrics.

Leena Nahata, M.D., from The Ohio State University in Columbus, and colleagues reviewed evidence and considerations for providers related to information sharing about impaired fertility and sexual function in pediatric patients attributable to congenital and acquired conditions or treatments.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that providers assess risk, use an interdisciplinary team approach, and assess what the family knows, as well as what interventions have already been performed. Clinicians should also consider cultural factors, ethical issues, and other special circumstances that may impact communication in planning initial talking points for both the parents and patient on the basis of age or developmental stage. 

Recommended counseling considerations include allowing sufficient time; normalizing the stress of ambiguity, and acknowledging family stressors.

"Given that numerous pediatric conditions and treatments impair reproductive capacity and sexual function, general pediatricians and pediatric medical subspecialists should provide ongoing counseling about these risks and potential management options as well as psychosocial support," the authors write.

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