To freeze or not to freeze: decision regret and satisfaction following elective oocyte cryopreservation

We examine the incidence of decision regret after elective oocyte cryopreservation and identify associated risk factors.

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Volume 109, Issue 6, Pages 1097–1104.e1

Authors:

Eleni A. Greenwood, M.D., M.Sc., Lauri A. Pasch, Ph.D., Jordan Hastie, B.S., Marcelle I. Cedars, M.D., Heather G. Huddleston, M.D.

Abstract:

Objective

To characterize the degree of decision regret following elective oocyte cryopreservation (EOC) for social indications, and identify factors associated with regret.

Design

Retrospective cohort survey study.

Setting

Academic center.

Patients

Two hundred one women who underwent EOC for fertility preservation between 2012 and 2016.

Interventions

None.

Main Outcome Measures

Decision Regret Scale (DRS) score, from 0–100, with a cut-off >25 indicative of moderate to severe regret; and attitudes regarding decision satisfaction.

Results

Median DRS score was 0 (interquartile range 0–15) and the mean was 10 (range 0–90). Thirty-three women (16%) experienced moderate to severe decision regret. Factors associated with decision regret included: number of eggs frozen, perceived adequacy of information prior to EOC, adequacy of emotional support during EOC, and patient-estimated probability of achieving a live birth using their banked eggs. In a multivariate logistic model, increased perceived adequacy of information (adjusted odds ratio 0.63, 95% confidence interval 0.42–0.97) and patient-estimated probability of achieving a live birth (adjusted odds ratio 0.80, 95% confidence interval 0.67–0.96) were associated with reduced odds of regret. One hundred sixty-seven women (88%) reported increased control over reproductive planning following EOC. One hundred eighty-three (89%) affirmed they will be happy they froze eggs, even if they never use them.

Conclusions

The risk of decision regret following EOC is non-negligible. Low number of mature oocytes cryopreserved is a risk factor for increased regret, while perceptions of adequate information and emotional support, and increased patient-estimates of achieving a live birth using banked eggs are associated with reduced risk of regret.


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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. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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