Oocyte cryopreservation for social reasons: demographic profile and disposal intentions of UK users

Abstract

A small number of studies from the USA and Europe have provided some data on the profile and characteristics of women who have undergone oocyte cryopreservation for what has been termed elective, social or non-medical reasons; however, little is known in a UK context about which women are undergoing oocyte cryopreservation or their reproductive intentions and actions after the procedure. Drawing on data from an exploratory study of 23 UK resident women who had undergone social oocyte cryopreservation, the demographic profile of these women, their reproductive intentions and actions are discussed, as well as their attitudes and intentions towards their cryopreserved oocytes should they never require them in treatment. The study found that, at the time of oocyte cryopreservation, women were on average 36.7 years of age, were university educated, with 65% of the sample holding further postgraduate or professional qualifications. Fifty-seven per cent of the participants were in professional employment. All participants identified as heterosexual and 87% were not in a relationship at the time of cryopreserving their oocytes. Most (88%) participants stated that they would donate unwanted oocytes to research or to other women for use in fertility treatment should they never require them.

Description

Keywords

oocyte cryopreservation, reproductive intentions, social egg freezing

Citation

Baldwin, K. Culley, L. Hudson, N. Mitchell, H. (2015) Oocyte cryopreservation for social reasons: demographic profile and disposal intentions of UK users. Reproductive BioMedicine Online. 31 (2), pp.239-245

Rights

Research Institute

Centre for Reproduction Research (CRR)