Medical and social egg freezing: internet-based survey of knowledge and attitudes among women in Denmark and the UK

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INTRODUCTION: Until recently, limited options for preserving fertility in order to delay childbearing were available. Although egg freezing and successful thawing is now possible, it remains unclear to what extent women are aware of the availability of this technique, their attitudes towards its use, or the circumstances under which this technique may be considered.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: An online cross-sectional survey was designed to investigate knowledge and attitudes of women in Denmark and the UK on egg freezing and their potential intentions regarding the procedure.

RESULTS: Data was collected from September 2012 to September 2013 and the responses of 973 women were analyzed. In total, 83% of women reported having heard of egg freezing, and nearly all considered it acceptable for medical indications, whilst 89% considered it acceptable for social reasons. Overall, 19% expressed active interest in the procedure, and 27% expressed possible interest. Key factors found to positively influence attitudes to accepting the procedure were reassurance that it would not affect future fertility and greater than 50% chance of achieving a live birth. Characteristics significantly associated with intention to freeze eggs were being single, age under 35 years, childlessness, and a history of infertility. In this group, risk and cost were less important considerations.

CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that there is widespread awareness and support of the availability of eggs freezing for reproductive planning. Reassurance regarding its efficacy appears more important than its potential adverse effects on their health or that of future children, or the costs of the procedure.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1402-1410
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

ID: 169357301