The significance of fertility preservation

2014-09-10 / Health / 0 Comments

The importance of communication with professionals and others

Feeling embarrassed was a common and lasting reaction, but was eased where staff appeared comfortable, used humour, paid attention to privacy, showed kindness and compassion and were clear in their information sharing – and made more difficult where staff were clearly uncomfortable:

  • …she [nurse at the sperm bank] made us feel uncomfortable cos…she didn’t seem very happy… Like you’re not going to see them happy… She just like, this is going to happen…right here’s the cup, go in there…just like that. Not like normal talking. (16 at diagnosis)

Phrasing of questions around consent was significant, for example when sperm bank staff asked what to do with banked sperm in the event of their death (a legal requirement in the UK). For two, this was made positive when it was pointed out that the question assumed they could live to age 55 and beyond; for a third, it was presented less sensitively and led to lasting distress:

  • …it could have been put more kindly I think…if you were to die… I had just found out I was diagnosed with it and the question comes up if you were to die… (16 at diagnosis)

Where information was put over well, the directness of the professional in giving information was appreciated, even though it could also be rather daunting:

  • The doctors, they don’t beat about the bush, they just like, right this is it. Then they just like say it. Then you have to look to think if that is what they’ve said or if you’re just imagining it. (16 at diagnosis)

Some were able to manage this with great feeling:

  • When she [consultant] told me everything about it, it was quiet really, there was nobody else in the room and that’s the way I preferred it as well…private, there was nobody else there…cos she actually drew the curtains and everything when she came in so it was very private, so that was good…yes that’s what I preferred, anyway. I preferred being private without anybody listening in. (17 at diagnosis)

The consensus among both young men and parents was that the gender of the professional mattered less than the existence of a prior relationship or their general manner. Nevertheless, for some there was some uncertainty. Two young men said that they found it uncomfortable to talk with a woman about ‘men’s things’ but one of these also struggled in his contact with the male Sildenafil Canada Online nurse on the grounds that he did not know him.

One young man described his relief at talking to a fellow patient about their shared experiences in a late night conversation away at camp. Another felt similar relief when talking for the first time, more than two years later, to an adult who had banked. Just as poignantly, one had spoken with others on the ward at the time but, on realizing that they had all banked and he was not able to, did not feel able to discuss it again.

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