Knowledge and decision making about future fertility and oocyte cryopreservation among young women.
The objective was to examine what young graduate student women know about preserving fertility/oocyte cryopreservation, and which reproductive resources they use. A prospective, cross-sectional design was used and the study was conducted at a University on the East Coast of the United States. The participants were 278 female graduate students. Participants completed a survey with questions about demographics, fertility knowledge, oocyte cryopreservation, and sources of fertility information. Descriptive statistics were calculated for all variables. Participants had average knowledge about fertility (64% items correct). The most used fertility information source was formal education (87.1%), information to help make fertility decisions was gynaecologists (85.3%), and oocyte cryopreservation was media (63.4%). Only 26.6% reported being well informed about fertility. Although 93.9% had heard of oocyte cryopreservation, only 7.2% had considered its use. Most (74.9%) ranked fertility as important, though 83% would consider postponing family until career (85.2%) and relationship (85.2%) were established. Half felt that there was a social stigma surrounding oocyte cryopreservation, and 70.1% believed that the media gives the impression that motherhood is viable after 40 years old. Professionally motivated women receive the most information about fertility from formal, accuracy-driven sources (i.e. education, healthcare providers), but information about fertility preservation from media. They lack knowledge about fertility planning.
Stevenson, EL; Gispanski, L; Fields, K; Cappadora, M; Hurt, M
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