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More women embraced the idea of egg freezing when there was a medical need.
More women embraced the idea of egg freezing when there was a medical need.

Childless Women Lack Knowledge About Viability of Egg Freezing Option

Childless Women Lack Knowledge About Viability of Egg Freezing Option

Although egg-freezing has been an option for some time, most childless women still lack knowledge about the costs and viability of freezing their eggs to preserve their fertility, suggests a study in Canada.
In a survey of young women without children, participants listed financial considerations, health risks and unknown success rates as the main factors that would influence their decision to freeze their eggs.
“Delaying childbearing until later years is becoming an international trend, and there’s an interesting assumption that women are being selfish and choosing their careers, travel or personal agendas over kids,” said lead study author Judith Daniluk, a counseling psychology professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
“Women are stuck between a rock and a hard place because they’re considering the cost of raising children and the cost of daycare,” she told Reuters Health. “That’s altruistic, not selfish.”
Daniluk and colleagues also asked about views and knowledge regarding oocyte (egg) freezing for medical reasons, particularly for the 4% of women cancer patients who consider this fertility option. In that situation, survey participants most often said they would consider their partner’s feelings, their own prognosis for a full recovery and concerns about the health effects of the procedure as the main factors that would influence their decision to freeze eggs.
“I think we’re also seeing a bias among medical professionals who say ‘Forget about fertility. Get on with saving your life,’” Daniluk said. “Women may not be given the option to consider this because they’re being fast-tracked for treatment.”

  New Technology
Since oocyte freezing technology is new, limited information exists about the success rates and number of babies born using cryopreserved eggs. About 20 babies have been born in the United Kingdom using this technique, according to 2015 figures from the UK Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority.
In the United States, statistics from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology indicate there were about 100 live births resulting from frozen eggs in 2013.
Daniluk created the Fertility Preservation Survey after working as a reproduction counselor and encountering women with misconceptions about fertility options.
The research team used a survey company to recruit 500 childless participants between 18 and 38 years old to answer 44 questions online about their knowledge and attitudes regarding egg freezing.  They found that 85% of women correctly rated themselves as having little or no knowledge about egg freezing.
More women embraced the idea of egg freezing when there was a medical need, rather than for social reasons. But younger women overall were more accepting of the idea for any reason.
The results were published in the journal Human Reproduction.

 

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