Disparities in Fertility Preservation Counseling

Fertility Preservation Counseling

At the recent American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in San Diego, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of California San Francisco presented research on the disparities in access to information about risks to fertility and fertility preservation such as egg freezing experienced by women with gynecological cancer.

With a survey mailed to 2,300 women from the California Cancer Registry who had been diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer between the ages of 18 to 40, the researchers found many cancer patients are not receiving counseling about the cancer treatment's ability to affect their fertility. 

Only 50 percent of those surveyed were counseled by their oncology team about the fertility risks. And only 3 percent underwent fertility preservation.

The factors that influenced whether women were or were not counseled included:
 

  • Education level — women who had a bachelor’s degree were twice as likely to be counseled as those without a degree.
  • Whether or not the women had children — women who already had children at the time of their treatment were half as likely to be counseled about fertility preservation as those who were childless.
  • Insurance status — Women with private insurance are three times more likely to receive counseling than the uninsured.

October 25, 2012
Posted by Leigh Ann Woodruff

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