Postponing Childbearing and Fertility Preservation in Young Professional Women

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Abstract

Objectives

To evaluate young women’s awareness of ovarian reserve testing and oocyte cryopreservation (OC) and assess how testing ovarian reserve may affect the desire for fertility preservation.

Methods

Three questionnaire-based observational studies were conducted among female students/young professionals 20 years of age and older. The third survey was completed after participants were offered anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) testing. The main outcomes measured included awareness that OC is available, interest in pursuing fertility preservation, and whether interest would change based on knowledge of declining fertility.

Results

The first tier of the study included a survey of a total of 337 women. The majority of female subjects were aware of OC (92.1%). Approximately 38.5% of the women responded that they would consider OC for future fertility purposes. This percentage increased to 60.3% if one was aware her fertility was declining. The second tier of the study included 42 resident/fellow physicians who were offered AMH testing. A survey was completed before and after testing was completed. Approximately 12% of participants stated that their AMH level altered their anticipated age of childbearing, whereas 24% would consider cryopreservation based on their results. The most common concern regarding OC was the cost.

Conclusions

Women should be counseled regarding reproductive aging and options for fertility preservation. Offering ovarian reserve testing and making OC more affordable may increase the number of women who undergo elective OC.

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