Employee benefit or occupational hazard? How employer coverage of egg freezing impacts reproductive decisions of graduate students

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VOLUME 1, ISSUE 3, P186-192, DECEMBER 01, 2020


Eden R. Cardozo, M.D., Jenna M. Turocy, M.D., Kaitlyn E. James, Ph.D., M.P.H., Marlene P. Freeman, M.D., Thomas L. Toth, M.D.



To better understand if employer-based financial coverage of non-medical oocyte cryopreservation impacts the way women make decisions about their reproduction, including the decision to pursue oocyte cryopreservation and the time frame in which they plan to begin family building.


Prospective survey study.


Academic medical center.


Female graduate students at five different institutions in the Boston area.


A 27-question electronic survey.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Likelihood of pursuing oocyte cryopreservation and time frame in which intend to build family, based on presence or absence of employer-based financial coverage.


The survey was completed by 171 female graduate students: 63% cited professional goals as their primary reason for delaying childbearing, and 54% indicated that oocyte cryopreservation would allow them to focus more on their career for the next several years. For 59% their main concern about egg freezing was the cost; 81% indicated that they would be more likely to consider egg banking if it were covered by their insurance or paid for by their employer. The majority of participants would not change when they would start building their family based on the presence or absence of employer financial coverage for egg freezing.


The primary concern of female graduate students about egg freezing is the cost. More women would consider elective egg freezing if financial coverage was provided by their employer, but the vast majority would ultimately not change their plans for and timing of family building based on this coverage.

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.