Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the perception of planned oocyte cryopreservation in the United States

Fertility Preservation

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 2, P145-152, JUNE 01, 2022

Authors:

Alexandra Huttler, M.D., Nathanael Koelper, M.P.H., Monica Mainigi, M.D., Clarisa Gracia, M.D., M.S.C.E., Suneeta Senapati, M.D., M.S.C.E.

Abstract:

Objective

To assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on attitudes toward planned oocyte cryopreservation (OC).


Design

Cross-sectional study.


Setting

Internet-based survey questionnaire distributed nationally.


Patient(s)

One thousand women aged 21–45 years, stratified by age ≤35 or >35 years.


Intervention(s)

None.


Main Outcome Measure(s)

Change in the likelihood of considering OC because of the pandemic.


Result(s)

Of the participants who reported that the pandemic altered their likelihood of considering OC (15.2%, n = 152), 52.6% (n = 80) reported an increased and 47.3% (n = 72) reported a decreased likelihood of considering OC. Vaccination status did not affect the likelihood of considering OC. In multivariable analysis, history of COVID-19 infection (odds ratio [OR] 1.57; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.00–2.45), government-subsidized insurance (OR 1.47; 95% CI 0.97–2.21), loss of health insurance because of the pandemic (OR 2.32; 95% CI 1.15–4.66), working more (OR 2.99; 95% CI 1.62–5.51) or less (OR 2.54; 95% CI 1.65–3.90) because of the pandemic, and relationship status (divorced, separated, or widowed [OR 0.44; 95% CI 0.20–0.99]) were significantly associated with a change in the likelihood of considering OC because of the pandemic. Of those who believed that the COVID-19 pandemic influenced their childbearing plans (28.3%, n = 283), 64.0% (n = 181) deferred childbearing and 29.7% (n = 84) expedited childbearing. The pandemic’s economic impact, concerns regarding safety of pregnancy/childbirth, and safety of childrearing were cited as most influential on childbearing (67%, 70%, 58%, respectively) and on the likelihood of considering OC (47%, 45%, and 34%, respectively).


Conclusion(s)

Through its negative impact on financial security and perceived safety, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the likelihood of considering OC in >15% of reproductive-aged women and reproductive timelines in 30%. Vaccination has not significantly modified these changes.