Women worldwide are delaying childbearing. Technological advances, such as oocyte cryopreservation (OC) and in vitro fertilization (IVF), allow women to achieve pregnancy despite age related fertility decline. This paper seeks to investigate whether relationship status plays a role in fertility knowledge in order to understand which populations should be targeted for fertility education.METHODS:
Primary analysis of a national online survey of 1213 nulliparous patients from March 4- March 9, 2016. A linear regression model and ANOVA tests were performed. Results were stratified based on relationship status: partnered (married, living with domestic partner) or unpartnered (single, widowed, divorced).RESULTS:
Of the 1213 women who completed the survey, 98.8% were analyzed. The majority of participants identified as white, heterosexual, and from urban locations. Partnered women were more likely to report they would have made different life choices had they been more knowledgeable about fertility (p=0.01), and also more likely to “know a lot” about the age-related decline in fertility (p<0.01). When asked about familiarity with oocyte cryopreservation, majority of the survey population responded that they have “heard of it, but don’t know much about it.”CONCLUSION:
This national survey demonstrates that having a partner significantly increases the likelihood that a woman is knowledgeable about fertility; nevertheless, partnered women are also more likely to wish they had been more knowledgeable about fertility. More effort is necessary to educate all women on ART and the natural age related decline in fertility, specifically young, single women of childbearing age.