Lauren Ataman-Millhouse

This blog features one of the most active Oncofertility Global Partners, Cláudia Melo, who is a PhD student at the University of Coimbra. She has been an actively engaged member of the community and her work has resulted in a number of publications, and she has provided us with a number of translations to her native Portuguese. Her most recent publication Portuguese oncologists' practices regarding female fertility preservation: Which barriers most relate to these practices? aims to investigate the current practice patterns of Portuguese oncologists with different clinical specialties regarding female fertility preservation and to determine the relative endorsement of different barriers to these practices. We asked Cláudia to briefly introduce herself and share more about her passion for the filed of oncofertility. 


Written by: Cláudia Melo, Clinical Psychologist / Portuguese Centre for Fertility Preservation, Coimbra Hospital and University Centre, Portugal
PhD student / RDS research group / Faculty of Psychology, University of Coimbra, Portugal

Since 2012, I have been working in (and falling in love with!) the Oncofertility field.

As a PhD student, me and my advisors (Professor Cristina Canavarro and Professor Teresa Almeida Santos) developed and implemented the 2ReproChoose project (http://www.facebook.com/2ReproChoose/), the first research project in Portugal studying the practices and attitudes of the oncologists regarding Oncofertility and the fertility preservation decision-making process of female cancer patients.

Moreover, and as a clinical psychologist collaborating with the Portuguese Centre for Fertility Preservation, we have developed and proposed an Oncofertility model of care for these patients, highlighting the important role of the psychologist in the multidisciplinary teams counselling these patients and also of the information and decision aids. In this context, we have developed several tools (e.g., video “Information makes all the difference”: http://youtu.be/4Mcv0xSygbA) and also worked together with the Oncofertility Consortium for the adaptation for European Portuguese of their materials for patients and health professionals (e.g., SaveMyFertility).

The collaboration with the Oncofertility Consortium and all the Global Partners was essential for my work in the last six years. Being a part of this global community, has allowed me a better discussion of the topics together with other health professionals and researchers from several countries, to better acknowledge and understand some challenges of the Oncofertility field and to develop solutions. This collaboration promotes a higher-quality work not only in my research, but also, in the clinical field with the patients. 

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