Financing future fertility: women’s views on funding egg freezing

Molly Johnston, Giuliana Fuscaldo, StellaMay Gwini, Sally Catt, Nadine Richings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Like other assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures, the cost of egg freezing (EF) is significant, presenting a potential barrier to access. Given recent technological advancements and rising demand for EF, it is timely to reassess how EF is funded. An online cross-sectional survey was conducted in Victoria, Australia and was completed by 656 female individuals. Participants were asked their views on funding for both medical and non-medical EF. The median age of participants was 28 years (interquartile range 23–37 years) and most participants were employed (44% full-time, 28% part-time, 33% students). There was very high support for public funding for medical EF (n=574, 87%), with 302 (46%) participants indicating support for the complete funding of medical EF through the public system. Views about funding for non-medical EF were more divided; 43 (6%) participants supported full public funding, 235 (36%) supported partial public funding, 150 (23%) supported coverage through private health insurance, and 204 (31%) indicated that non-medical EF should be self-funded. If faced with the decision of what to do with surplus eggs, a high proportion of participants indicated that they would consider donation (71% to research, 59% to a known recipient, 52% to a donor programme), indicating that eggs surplus to requirements could be a potential source of donor eggs. This study provides insights that could inform policy review, and suggests revisiting whether the medical/non-medical distinction is a fair criterion to allocate funding to ART.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-41
Number of pages10
JournalReproductive Biomedicine & Society Online
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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