Fertility awareness and attitudes among resident physicians across different specialties.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


To evaluate knowledge of age-related fertility decline and oocyte cryopreservation among resident physicians in obstetrics and gynecology (ob-gyn) compared to residents in other specialties.


An online survey was sent to the US residency program directors for ob-gyn, internal medicine, emergency medicine, family medicine, general surgery, pediatrics, and psychiatry. They were asked to forward the survey to their respective residents. The survey consisted of three sections: fertility knowledge, oocyte cryopreservation knowledge, and attitudes toward family building and fertility preservation. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to compare outcomes between ob-gyn and non-ob-gyn residents.


Of the 2,828 completed surveys, 450 (15.9%) were by ob-gyn residents and 2,378 (84.1%) were by residents in other specialties. 66.3% of respondents were female. The median number of correct answers was 2 out of 5 on the fertility knowledge section and 1 out of 3 on the oocyte cryopreservation knowledge section among both ob-gyn and non-ob-gyn residents. After adjusting for covariates, residents in ob-gyn were no more likely to answer these questions correctly than residents in other specialties (fertility knowledge, adjusted OR .97, 95% CI .88-1.08; oocyte cryopreservation knowledge, adjusted OR 1.05, 95% CI .92-1.19). Ob-gyn residents were significantly more likely than non-ob-gyn residents to feel "somewhat supported" or "very supported" by their program to pursue family building goals (83.5% vs. 75.8%, OR 1.62, 95% CI 1.23-2.14).


Resident physicians, regardless of specialty, have limited knowledge of natural fertility decline and the opportunity to cryopreserve oocytes. These data suggest need for improved fertility education.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tsai, S; Truong, T; Eaton, JL

Published Date

  • March 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 39 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 655 - 661

PubMed ID

  • 35132531

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8995230

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-7330

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1058-0468

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10815-022-02425-z


  • eng