Counseling patients on reproductive aging and elective fertility preservation—a survey of obstetricians and gynecologists’ experience, approach, and knowledge
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What are the experience, approach, and knowledge of US Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ob-gyn) towards counseling patients on reproductive aging (RA) and elective fertility preservation (EFP).
A cross-sectional survey emailed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to 5000 ACOG fellows consisting of 9 demographic and 28 questions relating to counseling patients on RA and EFP.
Seven hundred and eighty-four responders completed the survey. Although 82.8% agreed that conversations relating to RA should take place with patients desiring future childbearing and delaying due to social reasons, only 27.6% stated that they frequently counsel these women aged 18–34 years old, compared to 75.8% aged 35–44 years old (P < 0.01). Limited time (75.8%) and limited knowledge (41.4%) were amongst the most frequent reported barriers towards counseling patients on RA. Fifty-eight percent stated that they have been asked about EFP by patients. Although 74.8% agreed that conversations should take place related to EFP in women desiring future childbearing and delaying due to social reasons, only 27.6% stated that they frequently counsel these patients on EFP (P < 0.01). Limited time (75%) and limited knowledge (59.9%) were amongst the most frequent barriers towards counseling on EFP.
In the USA, methods to improve patient counseling and provider knowledge on RA and EFP are warranted and further studies are needed to address optimal methods to improve counseling and knowledge related to these topics.
KeywordsReproductive aging Fertility preservation Counseling Obstetricians/gynecologists Oocyte cryopreservation
This work was supported by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (Grant UA6MC19010).
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