Attitudes towards new assisted reproductive technologies in Sweden: a survey in women 30-39 years of age

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2016 Jan;95(1):38-44. doi: 10.1111/aogs.12781. Epub 2015 Oct 19.


Introduction: Novel pathways to parenthood [oocyte cryopreservation, allowance of surrogacy, uterus transplantation, and assisted reproductive treatments (ART) for single women] are currently being discussed. This study investigates women's attitudes towards oocyte cryopreservation and ART procedures that are not allowed or are still under investigation in Sweden, and whether the attitudes differ between urban women and women from a national cohort.

Materials and methods: Two thousand randomly selected Swedish females aged 30-39 years, 1000 residents of Stockholm (urban cohort) and 1000 from the remainder of Sweden (national cohort), were invited to complete a postal questionnaire on attitudes about existing and novel ARTs.

Results: Response rates for the national and urban cohorts were 52.1% and 48.9%. Ninety-four per cent of women were positive towards oocyte cryopreservation for medical reasons. Seventy per cent considered that this treatment was also indicated for social reasons. Seventy-six per cent found it acceptable to offer ART to single women. Uterus transplantation was found to be more acceptable than surrogacy (80% vs. 47%). Urban women were more positive to both oocyte cryopreservation for social reasons and fertility treatment of single women than the national cohort. Urban women were also more tolerant regarding age limits for attempting pregnancy with cryopreserved gametes and regarding permission for a longer duration of maintaining cryopreserved gametes.

Conclusions: Swedish women have a high acceptance of most new ARTs, with the exception of surrogacy. Urban women seem to have a greater acceptance for social egg-freezing, longer duration of cryopreservation of oocytes, and higher age limit for their use.

Keywords: Cancer; fertility preservation; infertility; oocyte; social egg freezing; uterus transplantation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cryopreservation*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oocytes*
  • Reproductive Behavior
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted
  • Surrogate Mothers
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Uterus / transplantation