Knowledge and attitudes regarding elective oocyte cryopreservation in undergraduate and medical students

Fertil Res Pract. 2019 Apr 10:5:5. doi: 10.1186/s40738-019-0057-9. eCollection 2019.


Background: To assess knowledge and attitudes regarding elective oocyte cryopreservation among female undergraduate students (UG) and medical students (MS) in Eastern Virginia.

Methods: An anonymous cross-sectional study surveying female UG at a local university and MS at our academic medical center in May of 2017. The survey contained questions on demographic information, interest in fertility preservation, and knowledge about age related changes in fertility.

Results: There were 74 of 102 female UG and 95 of 117 female MS who responded, for a response rate of 73 and 81% respectively. UG were significantly younger than MS (21.4 vs 26.8, p < 0.001). Further, UG generally planned on conceiving at a younger age than MS (age 26-30 vs 31-35), and favored younger ages to consider oocyte cryopreservation (age 26-30 vs 31-35). Only a minority of both UG and MS were willing to undergo egg freezing at the current price of approximately $10,000 (15% vs 26% respectively, p = 0.044). Moreover, 73% of students overall responded that they would be more likely to freeze oocytes if their employer paid. Notably, both UG and MS underestimated age of fertility decline.

Conclusion: Both UG and MS revealed a need for education on age-related changes in fertility. Most UG and MS would not undergo elective oocyte cryopreservation at the present cost but would consider it at a lower cost.

Keywords: Elective oocyte cryopreservation; Medical students; Social fertility preservation; Undergraduates.