Evaluating information resources for women considering elective egg freezing

Project Details

There is a growing trend in developed countries for women to start having a family in their early 30s or later. This delay can mean that some women miss the opportunity to have children due to age-related infertility. Egg freezing can offer women the potential to have children later in life and lower their risk of experiencing age-related infertility. However, making choices around egg freezing and family planning is complicated because of the health, financial and psychological implications for a procedure without a guarantee of success.

Although increasing numbers of women are freezing their eggs, little is known about how different information resources support them making this complex decision. The aim of this study is to investigate how new approaches to educating women impact how they make their decision, and the quality of their decision made.

We are currently recruiting participants for this study so that we can follow their decision-making experience for up to a year. If you are considering elective egg freezing and would like to take part in the research you can find out more information here: http://go.unimelb.edu.au/2n3j

Researchers

  • Dr Michelle Peate - Program Leader, Psychosocial Health and Wellbeing (emPoWeR) Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Ms Sherine Sandhu - PhD Student, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Prof Martha Hickey - Deputy Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Ms Sabine Braat - Research Fellow (Biostatistics), Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
  • Dr Raelia Lew - Clinical Senior Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Collaborators

  • Prof Roger Hart, University of Western Australia, Australia
  • Prof Robert Norman, University of Adelaide, Australia
  • Prof Jane Fisher, Monash University, Australia
  • Dr Karin Hammarberg, Monash University, Australia
  • Prof William Ledger, University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Ms Franca Agresta, Melbourne IVF, Australia
  • Dr Devora Lieberman, City Fertility, Australia
  • Ms Louise Johnson, Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority, Australia
  • Prof Richard Anderson, University of Edinburgh
  • Ms Janet Michelmore, Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, Australia
  • Dr Carolyn Ee, Western Sydney University, Australia

Funding

This research has been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Royal Women’s Hospital Foundation.

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Outcomes

Our aim is to address the gap in high quality information and support relating to egg freezing, to improve the individual’s experience and empower those making this challenging decision. Educational tools which are identified as beneficial for women will be disseminated Australia-wide and globally.

Research Publications

Hammarberg K, Kirkman M, Pritchard N, Hickey M, Peate M, McBain J, Agresta F, Fisher J. Reproductive experiences of women who cryopreserved oocytes for non-medical reasons. Human Reproduction 2017; 32 (3): 575-581. doi: 10.1093/humrep/dew342 http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2017/01/06/humrep.dew342.long

Hickey M, Peate M, Anderson. Letter:  Should cryopreservation of oocytes be discussed with all women in their 30’s? New England Journal of Medicine 2016; 374:287-287. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc1515128 http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc1515128

Research Group

The Psychosocial Health and Wellbeing Research (emPoWeR) Unit


School Research Themes

Women's Health, Ageing



Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Node

Royal Women’s Hospital

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